SHANGHAI, Aug. 1 (SMM) – LME nickel prices opened at USD 18,960/mt overnight, with the high end of the price range USD 19,100/mt, and finding support at USD 18,450/mt. Finally, LME nickel prices closed at USD 18,510/mt, down USD 500/mt from the previous trading day. Trading volumes increased by 1,877 to 4,813 lots and total positions decreased by 880 to 209,250 lots. LME nickel inventories grew 1,398 to 315,798 mt.
LME nickel prices lacked ability to rise and struggled around USD 19,000/mt during Asian trading hours, and touched as high as USD 19,100/mt during European trading hours. But at the end of European trading, LME nickel prices slumped to USD 18,450/mt, rallying to USD 18,510/mt. The number of US initial jobless claims last week outpaced 300,000, and Chicago's manufacturing index also dropped. That being said, base metals price declines across the board are not directly attributable to the negative economic data. LME nickel prices have been sluggish due to high inventories.
China's official PMI for July will be announced today, which is positive due to improving HSBC's manufacturing PMI for China, which represents situations at SMEs. LME nickel prices are expected to hover between USD 18,450-18,700/mt today, and spot nickel prices in Shanghai will hover between RMB 126,000-128,000/mt.