SHANGHAI, Jan 9 (SMM) - SHFE nickel lost nearly 10% last week owing to the frequent events on the macro and news front. US Fed's Bullard made a speech and hinted that the final value of 5.1% at the end of this round of rate hikes may be sufficient to control the US inflation, which suggests that the Fed will raise the interest rates by at least 75 basis points in the next few months. The speech also conveys the US Fed's determination to control inflation in 2023. Market fears of an economic recession intensified, which is bearish for commodity prices. On the supply side, the SHFE nickel contract opened at low last Thursday due to the release of Tsingshan nickel into the market and the expected Fed's rate hikes. The absolute spot prices fell. The transactions of pure nickel improved significantly in the same day. Spot imports still suffered losses even though pure nickel prices dropped in the overseas markets. NPI transactions were active in the early stage. More domestic NPI factories cut their output in December, and the sources of Indonesian NPI have already been booked, tightening the supply in the spot market and reducing the sources of low-priced spot NPI. On the demand side, according to SMM research, the overall stainless steel prices have remained weak recently. Some market participants may have an early Chinese New Year holiday, so the market has recently begun to control the inventory. In addition, spot stainless steel supply was tight, and the raw material prices kept rising, but the prices of #316L stainless steel were under pressure amid the sluggish trading. To sum up, sources of imported pure nickel were scarce, but the supply tightness of pure nickel has been eased thanks to the release of spots from new domestic pure nickel manufacturers and the improved shipments from the established refined nickel companies. It is expected that nickel prices will fluctuate with some declines in the near future.
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