Zinc to Nickel Gain in London on Signs China Demand Improving

Aug 12, 2014 2:31 pm ET

Aug. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Zinc and nickel paced gains for most industrial metals in London amid signs demand is improving in China, the world’s biggest consumer. Aluminum rose to the highest since February 2013.

Industrial production in China maintained its pace of growth last month, economists surveyed by Bloomberg said before data due tomorrow. Zinc trading in Shanghai was more than triple the average today, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Aluminum inventories tracked by the London Metal Exchange fell 10 percent this year.

“People are pre-positioning for some of the Chinese data,” Mike Dragosits, a senior commodity strategist at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “They’re expecting the China data to print on the positive side of things. The market consensus is that China’s economy is stabilizing.”

Zinc for delivery in three months advanced 1.1 percent to settle at $2,330 a metric ton at 5:51 p.m. on the LME. Nickel rose 0.5 percent to $18,750 a ton. Aluminum gained as much as 1.1 percent to $2,056 a ton. Lead and tin also climbed.

Factory output in China probably rose 9.2 percent from a year earlier, unchanged from June, while retail-sales growth accelerated to 12.5 percent, according to the surveyed economists.

On the LME, copper for delivery in three months fell 0.4 percent to $6,965 a ton ($3.16 a pound). On the Comex in New York, copper futures for delivery in September slipped 0.6 percent to $3.1545 a pound.

--With assistance from Jae Hur in Tokyo and Alex Davis in Hong Kong.