SHANGHAI, Mar. 18 (SMM) -- LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 17,185/mt and closed at USD 16,940/mt, down USD 251/mt from a day earlier, with the intraday high at USD 17,340/mt and the low at USD 16,891/mt, down USD 251/mt from a day earlier. Daily trading volumes were 3,826 lots, up 734 lots. Positions were 115,018 lots, down 786 lots. LME nickel inventories were 161,544 mt, down 102 mt.
LME nickel prices fluctuated to hit a high at USD 17,290/mt, but later fell to pare certain gains due to absence of solid economic news during the Asian trading hours. During the European and US trading hours, the US consumer confidence index for March was announced to hit the lowest since December 20122, and the New York Fed manufacturing index for March also fell to 9.24. The downbeat economic data dragged the US equity market to hit daily decline limit and pushed down LME nickel prices to close at USD 16,940/mt, down USD 251/mt from a day earlier.
Technical speaking, LME nickel prices lack momentum to advance, but any room for LME nickel prices to fall sharply will be limited. SMM expects that LME nickel prices will move between USD 16,800-17,100/mt and Shanghai nickel spot prices will move between RMB 117,500-119,500/mt on Monday.