SHANGHAI, Apr. 24 (SMM) – LME nickel price overnight opened at USD 15,275/mt, with the high end of the price range USD 15,277/mt, and finding support at USD 15,100/mt. Finally, LME nickel prices closed at USD 15,107/mt, down USD 194/mt from the previous trading day. Trading volumes increased by 736 lots, to 3,482 lots, and total positions decreased by 653 lots, to 117,055 lots. Inventories grew by 570 mt, to 174,546 mt.
LME nickel prices opened at USD 15,275/mt. As HSBC's April PMI for China was 50.5, lower than the 51.4 expected, LME nickel prices inched down and dipped to USD 15,100/mt during Asian trading hours, but gained back some losses after China's stocks markets closed. Nevertheless, the sluggish economic data weighed down the market again during European and US trading hours. The PMI from euro zone countries, US new homes sales and US manufacturing data all fell short of expectations, pushing down LME nickel prices again and closing at USD 15,107/mt.
The release of disappointing PMI of major economies undermined the market. The preliminary HSBC China manufacturing PMI for April came in at 50.5, far below market expectations of 51.5, sending stock market down below 2,200 points. The preliminary euro-zone composite PMI was unchanged at 46.5, but this was a 4-fouth low. In Germany, the largest economy in the euro zone, the national manufacturing, services and composite PMI all dropped below 50. Markets generally expect the European Central Bank to cut interest rate in the meeting next week, and this caused the euro against the dollar to fall below 1.30. In the US, the preliminary US manufacturing PMI dropped to 52, the lowest since last October. Those disappointing PMI figures demonstrate global manufacturing business activities have slowed down in April.
In other news, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso said that Europe has reached the political limits of its strict austerity measures thus far imposed on the EU's crisis countries. His comments strengthened market expectations over a possible shift in Europe's approach to austerity.
In other markets, the US dollar index was up 0.5% to above 83. The US and European equities markets advanced, and LME metals all closed lower, except lead.
LME nickel prices will move between USD 14,950-15,300/mt today. Spot nickel prices in Shanghai are expected between RMB 104,000-106,000/mt.