LONDON (Reuters) – Nickel prices fell on Tuesday toward the one-month lows hit last week as funds took profits, but concern about supplies from the Philippines and healthy demand, particularly from Chinese stainless steel mills, are expected to lend support.
Benchmark nickel on the London Metal Exchange ended down 0.8 percent at $11,140 a tonne from an earlier $10,875. Last week it touched $10,845, its lowest since Aug. 18.
“Nickel rose about 40 percent between July and early September, overshooting to above $12,000. Speculators are selling,” said Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar. “We estimate marginal production costs at around $10,400/$10,500, that will be an anchor for the downside. Demand from stainless and non-stainless applications is healthy.”
The market was also looking ahead to the outcome of a two-day meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve starting on Tuesday.
SPECS: “Nickel has seen the speculative long decline from a high of 47 percent of open interest on Sept. 6, to our latest estimate of 27 percent of open interest, or 43,000 lots,” analysts at Marex Spectron said. One nickel lot is 6 tonnes.
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