SHANGHAI, Aug 1 (SMM) - On the macro front, last week, the US Fed raised the interest rate by 75 basis points to 2.50% as expected, boosting the nonferrous metal prices. On the supply side, near the end of July, some pure nickel sources arrived at the market, and the premiums dropped continuously. Domestic NPI prices did not drop immediately along with the falling premiums. The NPI plants held firm to their prices due to the higher costs and their production cut. On the demand side, according to the SMM research, the premiums of #304 stainless steel in the Wuxi market stood stable, while those produced by the private smelters in the Foshan market returned to high levels. Near the end of July, due to the traders' cash flow considerations, there was large bargaining space in actual transactions, but the trading was slack. In terms of alloy, the spot prices were high, weakening the demand. To sum up, although the demand was slightly weakened by the high nickel prices, the low inventory might support the nickel prices. SHFE nickel prices are expected to move between 170,000-188,000 yuan/mt. At present, the LME nickel prices have not yet returned to the fundamentals, and the prices may fluctuate. When the prices return to normal, SMM will resume the price forecast of LME nickel.