Nickel Closes at 4-Week Low, Analysts Still Bullish on its Future

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Nickel fell in London to the lowest level in almost four weeks amid closing out of some bets on rising prices.

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A speculative long position contracted for a second week to 58 percent of nickel futures outstanding on the London Metal Exchange, according to Marex Spectron Group. Prices are still up 33 percent this year after surging as much as 56 percent following January’s ban on raw-ore exports by Indonesia, the world’s biggest nickel-mining nation.

“Fundamentals for nickel haven’t changed substantially,” Steve Hardcastle, the head of client services for industrial commodities at Sucden Financial Ltd. in London, said by phone today. “The focus has been on other metals, on aluminum, on zinc, and on nickel there has been no fresh news.”

The price of Chinese primary nickel saw a 1.6 percent drop on Wednesday, June 11, landing at CNY 130,050 ($20,881) per metric ton and making it the biggest mover of the day. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 16,400 ($2,633) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained essentially flat at CNY 16,100 ($2,585) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil saw little movement at CNY 16,400 ($2,633) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 26,000 ($4,175) per metric ton.

For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese ferro-chrome remained essentially flat at CNY 8,300 ($1,333) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly continues hovering around CNY 145,000 ($23,282) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

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The spot price of nickel weakened by 1.6 percent on the LME, settling at $18,455 per metric ton. On the LME, the nickel 3-month price fell 1.5 percent to $18,550 per metric ton. The cash price of primary Indian nickel saw a 1.1 percent decline to INR 1,113 ($18.79) per kilogram.

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