Aluminum and Nickel Gain on Stronger Equities and Demand Signals

Aluminum and nickel rose in London, leading gains by industrial metals amid strengthening European equities and signs of demand.

The Stoxx 600 Europe Index (SXXP) of shares reached an almost five-year high. It’s up from the close on Feb. 1, while the LME Index of the six main metals traded in London is down 6.9 percent, more than oil traded in New York. Demand for trucks in Brazil is set to increase as much as 10 percent this year, the head of Daimler AG’s truck division said yesterday.

“The recent downward move was exaggerated and base metals underperformed equities and the cyclical commodities like crude oil,” Daniel Briesemann, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said by e-mail. “The low prices are obviously seen as attractive buying opportunities.”

Aluminum for delivery in three months added 0.8 percent to $1,981 a metric ton by 10:06 a.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Copper advanced 0.3 percent to $7,810 a ton and the metal for delivery in May on the Comex in New York rose 0.5 percent to $3.541 a pound.

Prices also climbed on signs of a rebounding economy in the U.S., the world’s second-biggest copper consumer after China. Sales at retailers in February gained the most in five months, according to data yesterday. A report tomorrow will show industrial production in the U.S. rose for a third month in four in February, economists surveyed by Bloomberg says.

An average Class 8 truck, the category including the heaviest models, contains more than 1,000 pounds of aluminum, according to an Aluminum Association website. Vehicles use alloys, powders and plating containing nickel on parts including spark plugs and pistons, the Nickel Institute says.

Copper stockpiles monitored by the LME, up 63 percent this year to the highest since March 2010, rose for a 21st session to 522,250 tons, daily exchange figures showed. Orders to withdraw the metal from warehouses fell 0.3 percent to 33,250 tons.

Nickel advanced as much as 0.9 percent in London. Lead and zinc slipped, while tin was unchanged.

To contact the reporter on this story: Agnieszka Troszkiewicz in London at atroszkiewic@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at ccarpenter2@bloomberg.net

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