SHANGHAI, Mar.26 (SMM) -- LME nickel for delivery in three months opened at USD 17,148/mt and closed at USD 16,960/mt on Monday, down USD 161/mt from a day earlier, with the intraday high at USD 17,210 mt and the lowest price at USD 16,880/mt. Daily trading volumes were 2,051 lots, down 1,311 lots. Positions were 112,462 lots, up 689 lots. LME nickel inventories were 162,024 mt, down 738 mt.
Market focus was on Cyprus. During the early European trading hours, the Cyprus and its international creditor finally reached an agreement on EUR 10 billion bailout, which eased market concern. However, Cyprus still faces risks for default, which trigger profit-taking. In response, LME nickel prices plunged to USD 17,000/mt. Later, negative came again. It was rumored that Eurogroup president said that the restructure of Cypriot banks will be example for banks in other euro zone members. Although the rumor was dispelled later, market concern still weighed down LME nickel prices to close at USD 16,960/mt.
Close attention should be paid to the durable goods orders for February and consumer confidence index from US, which will affect base metal price movement. SMM expects that LME nickel prices will move between USD 16,700-17,100/mt and Shanghai nickel spot prices will move between RMB 117,500-119,500/mt on Tuesday.