Journal De Bruxelles - Nickel trading resumes in London after IT error

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Nickel trading resumes in London after IT error
Nickel trading resumes in London after IT error

Nickel trading resumes in London after IT error

Trading in nickel resumed Wednesday on the London Metal Exchange but was disrupted by an IT glitch, after a suspension linked to the Ukraine crisis.

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Nickel stopped trading after swiftly breaching a new five-percent daily price movement limit to stand at $43,995 per tonne on the LME.

However, the LME later said that this breach was "because of an IT system error" that allowed buyers to push price moves over the cap.

Market activity later resumed at 1400GMT, but earlier trades were cancelled after an investigation.

Nickel, used in stainless steel and electric vehicle batteries, had spiked on March 8 to a then-record high of $101,365 per tonne on a bad bet from a Chinese billionaire after Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

However, the LME subsequently decided to cancel all trades made that day and halted trading.

That leaves nickel's record high at $48,002 per tonne, set March 7.

Moscow's invasion sparked market chaos last week owing to supply concerns in Russia, the world's third biggest nickel producer.

The metal's price, already soaring, was catapulted even higher by a bad pricing call from Chinese billionaire Xiang Guangda.

Guangda -- owner of the world's biggest nickel producer Tsingshan Holding Group -- had bet on nickel prices falling since late last year, but was blindsided by the Ukraine war.

A short squeeze occurs when investors bet on falling prices but are then forced to close out their positions and purchase at a far higher price, triggering a spike.

D.Mertens--JdB