Industrial Metals Rise as Gaza Tensions Ease, U.S. Strikes Iraq

Aug 11, 2014 1:31 pm ET

Aug. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Industrial metals from aluminum to zinc rose as tensions eased in the Gaza Strip and signs emerged that the U.S. pushed back militants in Iraq, boosting investor sentiment for commodities.

There were no rockets fired from Gaza or no Israeli airstrikes on the territory since a cease-fire went into effect at midnight, the Israeli army said. Yesterday in Iraq, Kurdish forces were able to retake two towns as militants retreated after U.S. strikes, according to the Kurdish news agency. A gauge of metals fell 1.4 percent in the two weeks ended Aug. 8 as turmoil escalated in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.

“The risk appetite has improved a little bit, and base metals have responded,” Bart Melek, the head of commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “What we’re really seeing is a reaction to a bit less geopolitical risk globally.”

Aluminum for delivery in three months rose 0.5 percent to settle at $2,033.50 a metric ton at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Earlier, the price reached $2,042, the highest since July 25.

Zinc gained 0.4 percent to $2,304 a ton. Lead and nickel climbed, while copper and tin were unchanged.

The Bloomberg Commodity Spot Index rose as much as 0.4 percent, snapping a two-session slump.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for September delivery rose less than 0.1 percent to $3.1745 a pound.

--With assistance from Calev Ben-David and Saud Abu Ramadan in Jerusalem, David Lerman in Washington and Mariam Fam in Cairo.