Nickel Falls From Near 14-Month High as Rally Seen Excessive

Apr 15, 2014 4:04 am ET

April 15 (Bloomberg) -- Nickel dropped, snapping the longest winning streak since 2010, as a technical indicator signaled to some investors that the gains were excessive.

The contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 3.7 percent, the most since July, to $17,130 a metric ton before trading at $17,475 at 3:26 p.m. in Hong Kong. The metal surged 26 percent this year, the best performer among the main six metals on the bourse, and touched $17,917 yesterday, the highest since Feb. 19, 2013.

Nickel’s 14-day relative strength index rose to 83.5 yesterday, the highest level since April 2006. Readings above 70 signal to some investors that prices may decline. LME inventory increased 1.1 percent to 279,966 tons yesterday, up 7 percent since the start of the year, bourse data show.

“Nickel was shooting up too much in the last few days,” said Chae Un Soo, a metals trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures co. in Seoul. Some signs of China’s economy slowing are also weighing on copper prices, he said.

Copper in London retreated as much as 0.8 percent to $6,614.50 a ton after China’s broadest measure of new credit fell. Aggregate financing dropped 19 percent in March from a year earlier, data from the People’s Bank of China showed today. Gross domestic product for the first quarter grew 1.5 percent from the previous three months, down from 1.8 percent in the fourth quarter, according to a Bloomberg News survey before data tomorrow.

In New York, the copper futures contract for July fell 0.6 percent to $3.0185 a pound on the Comex, while in Shanghai, metal for the same month lost 0.5 percent to 46,560 yuan ($7,482) a ton.

On the LME, aluminum, lead and zinc declined, while tin was little changed.