SHANGHAI, Mar. 14 (SMM) - LME nickel prices opened at USD 15,721/mt overnight, with the high end of the price range USD 15,860/mt, and finding support at USD 15,620/mt. Finally, LME nickel prices closed at USD 15,763/mt, up USD 89/mt from the previous trading day. Trading volumes decreased by 2,536 lots, to 3,904 lots, and total positions increased by 3,707 lots to 196,150 lots. Inventories grew by 750 mt, to 270,636 mt.
Value-added at China's scale-efficient industries during January-February was 8.6%, weaker on the month, while fixed assets investment was 17.9%, also worse on the month, triggering market concerns over China's sluggish demand and pushing down base metals prices. But bolstered by Indonesian ban on the exports of unprocessed ore, LME nickel prices rose and touched a record high of USD 15,860/mt, with total positions increasing to 196,150 lots.
China's FDI and US February PPI will be released today. Ukraine's Crimea vote and the lack of positive news are expected to push down LME nickel prices, moving between USD 15,300-15,600/mt today, and spot nickel prices in Shanghai will hover between RMB 94,200-95,200/mt.