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LME hopes to soon announce nickel Asian trading return - CEO

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Traders work on the floor of the London Metal Exchange, in London

(Reuters) -The London Metal Exchange hopes to restart nickel trading in Asian hours very soon, once liquidity rises to levels seen before the suspension on March 8, its Chief Executive Matt Chamberlain said on Tuesday.

The world's largest and oldest forum for metals was forced to suspend the nickel market and cancel all trades on March 8 after prices spiked more than 50% to hit a record above $100,000 a tonne in a few hours.

The nickel trading debacle is the biggest crisis to hit the exchange. Suspending nickel trading left consumers and producers without key benchmark prices and damaged the 145-year-old exchange's reputation.

Nickel trading resumed on March 16 when the LME introduced daily price limits, but not during Asian hours.

Some participants believe it is wiser to concentrate nickel liquidity in London trading hours and build it up until it is at a comparable level to where it was pre-suspension, Chamberlain said at the LME Asia Metals Seminar.

"We are deliberately taking a conservative approach here."

The exchange last month appointed management consultants Oliver Wyman to carry out an independent review of the events that led to a week-long suspension of nickel trading in March.

(Reporting by Pratima Desai in London; Editing by Andrew Heavens & Simon Cameron-Moore)

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