Nickel climbed for a second day to a 14-month high on concern that supplies from Russia may be disrupted amid mounting tensions over Ukraine.
The contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange added as much as 1.4 percent to $18,700 a metric ton, the highest level since February 2013, and was at $18,635 by 10:32 a.m. in Tokyo. The price advanced 18 percent this month, the most since March 2010.
The U.S. and European Union will impose new sanctions on Russia as soon as today as the crisis in Ukraine escalates amid the detention of international observers by pro-Russian separatists. Nickel has risen 34 percent this year, the most among the six main metals traded on the LME as Indonesia started an ore-export ban in January. China and Russia are the biggest producers of the refined metal.
“It appears that the east of the Ukraine may go the same way as the Crimea,” said David Lennox, a resource analyst at Fat Prophets, an investment research firm in Sydney. “Likely only the expansion of sanctions by the west against Russia is what is holding that country back from moving already.”
Copper in London rose 0.2 percent to $6,776 a ton, extending last week’s 1.7 percent gain. The contract for delivery in July climbed 0.2 percent to $3.098 a pound in New York. In Shanghai, futures for delivery in July were 0.2 percent higher at 47,990 yuan ($7,675) a ton.
On the LME, aluminum also advanced, while zinc and lead were little changed. Tin hadn’t traded.
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