LME Nickel Down As China Closes Markets

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Base metals moved to lower prices in Thursday’s LME morning session in thin and volatile conditions in the absence of Asian market participants over Chinese New Year – nickel hit a one-year low and zinc its softest for three weeks.

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“For now, we would expect the metals to take their lead from the dollar/euro and from developments over Greece. Should a loan extension be agreed, there may be room for a relief rally,” FastMarkets analyst William Adams said.

The Indian nickel cash price saw a 1.7% drop on Thursday, February 19, landing at INR 884.90 ($14.25) per kilogram and making it the biggest mover of the day. On the LME, the 3-month price of nickel fell 0.7% to $14,150 per metric ton. The nickel spot price weakened by 0.6% on the LME, settling at $14,125 per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 10,950 ($1,751) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly saw little movement at CNY 82,000 ($13,112) per metric ton.

For the fifth day in a row, the Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge remained essentially flat at $0.94 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil remained essentially flat at CNY 23,700 ($3,790) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil continues hovering around CNY 16,700 ($2,670) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap held flat at CNY 13,050 ($2,087) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap saw little movement at CNY 9,450 ($1,511) per metric ton.

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