SHANGHAI, Apr. 11 (SMM) – LME nickel price overnight opened at USD 16,205/mt, with the high end of the price range USD 16,345/mt, and finding support at USD 16,058/mt. Finally, LME nickel prices closed at USD 16,114/mt, down USD 120/mt. Trading volumes increased by 112 lots, to 2,322 lots, and total positions increased by 1,052 lots, to 118,625 lots. Inventories grew by 912 mt, to 167,700 mt.
News from China overnight was the focus of Asian markets. China reported trade deficit of USD 880 million in March, worse than a trade surplus of USD 15.4 billion expected. Shanghai base metals gains thus contracted, but LME nickel prices were barely affected. LME nickel prices opened at USD 16,205/mt, and then inched up, once touching USD 16,345/mt during European trading hours. The market was focused on the minute of the US Federal Reserve policy meeting in US trading hours, and the minute shows some officials proposed the Fed should slow or stop assets purchasing by the end of the year, which allowed the US dollar index to rise. LME zinc prices rolled back early gains and finally closed at USD 16,114/mt, down USD 120/mt.
Overnight markets were majorly affected by China's import and export data. China unexpectedly reported trade deficit of USD 880 million in March, much lower than expected levels or the previous month. That is because import volume rose by 14.1% YoY, which is much higher than the 6% expected, but export only grew by 10%, with the figure lower than expected for the first time in 4 months. The upbeat import data was read as a reflection that China's domestic demand improved, boosting global stocks markets. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index hit a record high of 1,589, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 14,800. But China's copper imports in March sank by 30.8%, and LME copper inventories now continue to climb, weighing down base metals. The US dollar index strengthened slightly after the minute of the US Federal Reserve policy meeting was announced.
The US dollar index rose by 0.11, to 82.48; European and US stocks generally advanced; LME base metals prices mostly dropped with the exception of lead.
As short momentum remains strong, LME nickel prices will move between USD 16,000-16,300/mt today. Spot nickel prices in Shanghai are expected between RMB 112,500-114,500/mt.