SHANGHAI, Dec. 15 (SMM) – SMM surveyed 30 market players to find that 5 are bullish, 15 are neutral and 10 are bearish toward nickel prices this week.
The 17 % optimistic ones see LME nickel move between USD 8,800-9,000/mt. Value added at China industrials topped expectations, and retail sales growth hit a new high for the year. The US dollar hovered around 98. Chinese smelters cut output, and buyout news for metal reserves also boosted base metals. Nickel prices surged at one point as positions of SHFE 1601 nickel declined. LME nickel is expected to stand at the 20-day moving average. SHFE 1601 nickel is expected to move between RMB 70,000-71,000/mt.
50% see LME nickel fluctuate between USD 8,600-8,780/mt. Growing market expectations of interest rate hike in the US will put pressure on base metals. Jinchuan Group continues to hold prices firm, but demand remains weak. SHFE 1601 nickel should fluctuate between RMB 68,000-70,000/mt.
33% bearish ones think LME zinc will fall to USD 8,350-8,600/mt. The US dollar will strengthen with growing market expectations of Fed rate hike in December. Crude oil prices drop further, weighing down base metals. China’s economy is still languishing. Operating rates will fall further due to the winter season. LME nickel inventories returned to 400,000 mt, with port inventories growing. Downstream buyers are inclined to purchase at lows. As such, SHFE 1601 nickel should fluctuate between RMB 67,000-68,000/mt.