SHANGHAI, Apr. 17 (SMM) – LME nickel price overnight opened at USD 15,680/mt, with the high end of the price range USD 15,910/mt, and finding support at USD 15,350/mt. Finally, LME nickel prices closed at USD 15,760/mt, up USD 40/mt from the previous trading day. Trading volumes decreased by 1,870 lots, to 4,741 lots, and total positions increased by 1,034 lots, to 121,936 lots. Inventories fell by 168 mt, to 168,594 mt.
LME nickel prices fluctuated widely, opening low and moving lower, and dipping to as low as USD 15,350/mt. But as long momentum mounted in the afternoon, LME nickel prices rallied during Asian trading hours, and fluctuated between USD 15,550-15,700/mt after Asian stocks markets closed. During European and US trading hours, due to upbeat US real estate data and earnings reports, LME nickel prices rose slightly and finally closed at USD 15,760/mt, up USD 40/mt.
The US released April 16 its industrial production for March rose 0.4% compared with the previous month, better than market expectations. Cold weather in March increased utilities output, helping increase the overall reading. Meanwhile, the US housing starts added 1.036 million at a seasonally adjusted annual rate in March, the highest since June 2008. Apartment construction led the surge in March. The housing recovery will likely become a mild driver for economic recovery in 2013. Application for building permits, however, fell unexpectedly to 902,000, below market estimates and the previous data. In other economic figures, the US CPI for March was much lower than market expectations and the previous reading, due largely to falling gasoline prices and soft consumption, raising market attention over the Beige Book to be released this Thursday.
In the euro zone area, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said he would propose early payment of EU aid supporting the troubled Cyprus. The comments, which helped ease market concerns over the fears of the sale of Cypriot gold reserves, sent the euro up. In addition, the German ZEW economic sentiment slid to 36.3, well below market estimates of 42.0. The disappointing data dampened market confidence, which served as a mirror of sluggish economic data and reflects that the unresolved European debt issues are hitting the biggest economy in the region. Financial experts in the survey remained confident, but not as strong as before.
In China, the national fiscal revenue was 3.2034 trillion yuan in 1Q, up 6.9%, with the growth down 7.8 percentage points from the growth seen last year. Tax revenues were 2.7399 trillion yuan, up 6%, with the growth down 4.3 percentage points. In March, the central fiscal revenue was 382.8 billion yuan, down 5.2%, making the first single monthly decline since August 2012. The drop was due mainly to mild economic growth, structural tax reduction, the low growth of trade, and high level seen in March 2012. Local fiscal revenue was 578 billion yuan, up 15.1%.
LME nickel prices will stabilize today, and will likely rise, moving between USD 15,550-15,950/mt. Spot nickel prices in Shanghai are expected between RMB 107,000-109,000/mt.