Chinese Outlook Sparks Another Nickel Rally

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Nickel prices climbed today on the London Metal Exchange, capping the biggest two-day rally in a month, on speculation that increased economic stimulus will boost demand in China, the world’s biggest user of industrial metals.

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China is accelerating 300 infrastructure projects valued at 7 trillion yuan ($1.1 trillion) this year as policy makers seek to shore up growth that’s in danger of slipping below 7%, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg News. In the second half of 2014, nickel dropped 20% amid concern that growth in the Asian nation was slowing.

Weakening prices ended a three-day flat streak as the price of Chinese 304 stainless coil fell 4.6% on Tuesday, January 6 to CNY 16,700 ($2,685) per metric ton. After remaining flat for three days, the price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap fell 2.0% yesterday to CNY 9,650 ($1,551) per metric ton. After holding steady for the past few days, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap fell 0.7%, closing at CNY 13,250 ($2,130) per metric ton. The price of Chinese primary nickel rose 0.6% to CNY 108,800 ($17,490) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil remained essentially flat at CNY 23,700 ($3,810) per metric ton.

The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw little movement at CNY 10,950 ($1,760) per metric ton. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese ferro-moly held flat at CNY 90,000 ($14,467) per metric ton.

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The nickel 3-month price weakened by 2.1% on the LME, settling at $14,655 per metric ton. The spot price of nickel saw a 2.0% decline on the LME to $14,580 per metric ton. At INR 967.90 ($15.26), the cash price of primary Indian nickel finished the market day up 1.4% per kilogram.

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