SHANGHAI, Jan 28 (SMM) - Affected by the expectations of improving domestic consumption, both SHFE nickel and LME nickel prices increased before the Chinese New Year holiday. During the CNY holiday, SHFE stopped trading and LME nickel prices fluctuated at a high level within the rage of $28,000-29,800/mt during January 23 to January 27. During the CNY holiday, the US Department of Labor announced that the number of initial claims for unemployment benefits, which was 186,000 and was lower than the previous value. The initial reading of annualised quarterly rate of GDP in the fourth quarter was 2.9, which was higher than the predicted value of 2.6. The improving economic indicators also indicates that the US economy is still resilient at present, and there is no risk of recession in the short term. Next week, the market should pay attention to the Fed’s interest rate decision. According to market news, the Fed may raise the interest rate by 25 basis points at the FOMC meeting next Thursday.
In the spot market, it is expected that the transactions in the spot market may improve after the CNY holiday. At present, the production of new domestic refined nickel enterprises is active, which may ease the tight supply. However, the deliverable refined nickel is still in shortage. And according to SMM research, the orders received by stainless steel traders in February were good. Coupled with the stimulus policies for domestic real estate industry, the output of 300 series stainless steel is expected to increase significantly in February. Meanwhile, the orders received by the alloy enterprises during the CNY holiday were good as well, hence they still have restocking demand after the holiday. It is expected that the improving terminal demand will limit the downward space for nickel prices.