SHANGHAI, Apr. 17 (SMM) – Major economic indicators from the US released yesterday were all lower than expectations. US housing starts in March were 926,000, falling short of the 1.04 million expected. Construction permits were 1.039 million, also below the 1.081 million expected. The number of US initial jobless claims last week rebounded nearly 300,000. This pushed down the US dollar index and supported base metals.
LME nickel prices opened at USD 12,725/mt, then edged up to the 20-day moving average. During European trading hours, LME nickel prices rose further and surged to USD 12,935/mt, and closed at USD 12,795/mt, up 0.91%. Trading volumes increased 398 to 5,752 lots, and total positions increased 34 to 232,323. LME nickel inventories grew 1,146 to 433,146 mt.
LME nickel prices are expected to rise further today. SHFE 1507 nickel contract prices rose RMB 310/mt Thursday evening. Spot nickel prices in Shanghai will hold stable between RMB 94,000-96,000/mt today.