SHANGHAI, Jun. 13 (SMM) – LME nickel prices opened at USD 18,280/mt overnight, with the high end of the price range USD 18,367/mt, and finding support at USD 17,700/mt. Finally, LME nickel prices closed at USD 18,087/mt, down USD 163/mt from the previous trading day. Trading volumes increased by 1,918 lots, to 7,482 lots and total positions increased by 557 lots to 231,129 lots. LME nickel inventories were down 270 mt to 286,482 mt.
Iraq's turmoil pushed up global oil prices, and growing risk aversion weighed down base metals prices. US retail sales in May were worse-than-expected, and the number of US initial jobless claims rose slightly, import goods price index remained sluggish, and business inventories grew. In this context, market expectations that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates decreased.
Given China's probe into financing fraud and Iraq's turmoil, LME nickel prices are expected to test support from USD 17,500/mt today, and spot nickel prices in Shanghai will fall to RMB 124,000-125,500/mt.