SHANGHAI, Mar. 10 (SMM) - LME nickel prices opened at USD 15,530/mt overnight, with the high end of the price range USD 15,530/mt, and finding support at USD 15,232/mt. Finally, LME nickel prices closed at USD 15,264/mt, down USD 251/mt from the previous trading day. Trading volumes increased by 2,051 lots, to 9,120 lots, and total positions increased by 2,682 lots to 177,047 lots. Inventories grew by 1,254 mt, to 270,624 mt.
LME copper prices led declines last Friday due to news that Shanghai failed to pay bond interest rates in time, weighing down LME nickel prices. The number of US non-farm employment in February increased to 175,000, much higher than the 149,000 expected, but unemployment rate rose to 6.7%. US Federal Reserve did not raise interest rates, with the US dollar index rebounding. China's exports unexpectedly dropped by 18.1% in February, much lower than a 6.8% increase expected; imports grew 10.1%, better than expectations; China's trade deficit was the second largest at USD 22.98 billion, compared to the USD 31.86 billion trade surplus in January. China's February CPI growth fell to 2% due to weakening demand; February PPI was -2%, pointing to sluggish demand.
LME nickel prices are expected to move between USD 15,200-15,300/mt today, and spot nickel prices in Shanghai will hover between RMB 94,000-95,000/mt.