SHANGHAI, Apr. 19 (SMM) – LME nickel price overnight opened at USD 15,350/mt, with the high end of the price range USD 15,595/mt, and finding support at USD 15,180/mt. Finally, LME nickel prices closed at USD 15,559/mt, up USD 156/mt from the previous trading day. Trading volumes increased by 442 lots, to 4,005 lots, and total positions decreased by 671 lots, to 118,165 lots. Inventories fell by 120 mt, to 168,426 mt.
LME nickel prices extended declines, dipping to as low as USD 15,180/mt. Due to positive news from euro zone, LME nickel prices rebounded to USD 15,595/mt, and finally closed at USD 15,559/mt, up USD 156/mt. The average yield of Spain's 10-year government bonds was lower than the previous month; Germany approved the EUR 10 billion of bailout funds for Cyprus, but Italy failed to elect a president. The strengthening euro boosted market sentiment, but market uncertainties continued to weigh on the market.
The US Department of Labor released April 18 the initial jobless claims came in at 352,000, slightly higher than market expectations, and gaining the fourth time in recent five weeks. Meanwhile, the US economic leading indicator for March was off 0.1%, and the reading for February was unchanged at 0.5%. The Philadelphia Federal Reserve's business-activity index for April was 1.3%, down from 2.0% in March. All these, together with the earlier disappointing employment data, suggest weak economic performance in the US. In response, the Fed is dominated by Doves over the quantitative easing measures. The dollar index briefly slid to 82.35, and advanced to 82.60 at the tail of trading.
The Lower House of German Parliament overwhelmingly approved the aid plan for Cyprus, and seven-year loan extension for Ireland and Portugal. In addition, Spanish and French bond sales draw strong demand, and the level of non-performing loans in the Spanish banking system was down, both helping boost market sentiment. As a result, risky currencies briefly hit an intraday high. However, the news that Italy's parliament failed to elect a new president in the first round of voting undermined market confidence, dragging down risky currencies.
In China, the yuan against the dollar dropped on April 18, bringing the fourth consecutive day of gains to an end. The round of strong gains was due mainly to cross-border capital inflows, promoted by fresh monetary policies in Japan and US QEs aimed for economic recovery. Currently, market is dominated by a strong wait-and-see attitude, waiting for a clear market direction. The G20 Financial Minister Meeting is scheduled to be convened on April 18, and the two-day meeting will center around the latest aggressive monetary measures taken by Japan.
The G10 finance minister meeting and central bank president meeting will be held today, and Canada's March CCI will also be released. LME nickel prices will find support at USD 15,200/mt. Spot nickel prices in Shanghai are expected between RMB 105,500-106,700/mt.