SHANGHAI, Jun. 7 (SMM) – LME nickel prices overnight opened at USD 15,200/mt, with the high end of the price range USD 15,220/mt, and finding support at USD 15,000/mt. Finally, LME nickel prices closed at USD 15,050/mt, down USD 140/mt from the previous trading day. Trading volumes decreased by 297 lots, to 2,987 lots, and total positions decreased by 619 lots, to 115,806 lots. Inventories fell 90 mt, to 179,808 mt.
LME nickel prices overnight opened at USD 15,200/mt. Asian stocks markets dropped across the board, with declines mostly in excess of 1%, weighing down LME nickel prices. As the number of US initial jobless claims in May and ISM non-manufacturing data was both lower than expectations, market concerns continued, keeping LME nickel prices weak. Finally, LME nickel prices closed at USD 15,050/mt, down USD 140/mt.
The number of US initial jobless claims last week was 346,000, higher than the forecast of 345,000, with the weekly average of 348,000 in May, higher than 343,000 in April. The number of May US Challenger layoffs was 36,398, higher than the previous month. The number of US ADP employment in May released Wednesday was also below expectations. The sluggish data triggered market concerns of US non-farm employment data to be released today, pushing down the US dollar index and commodity prices.
Bank of UK announced it will maintain interest rate at 0.50% and quantitative easing at GBP 375 billion, in line with market expectations. European central bank decided to maintain its rate unchanged in June, also meeting market expectations. But Draghi gave no hint of further easing, so the central bank will unlikely implement negative interest rate in the near term. European central bank lowered its economic growth forecast in 2013 from a 0.5% decline to a shrink of 0.6% due to economic concerns, pushing down European stocks markets and dragging down base metals market confidence.
The US dollar index plunged by 1.25%, to 81, the lowest since late February; US stocks markets closed with gains, with the euro against the US dollar up 1.19%, touching 1.3303, a new high since late February; European stocks markets closed with declines, and Asia-Pacific stocks markets all dropped.
LME nickel prices will move between USD 14,800-15,300/mt today, and spot nickel prices in Shanghai are expected to be between RMB 105,000-107,000/mt.