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Zinc, Lead Traders Probably Added to Bets on Climbing Prices

Zinc and lead traders probably added to wagers on rising prices as the number of outstanding contracts increased at the same time that prices advanced.

Open interest in London Metal Exchange zinc futures gained by 12,193 contracts to 417,146 lots in the week ended Feb. 23, according to exchange figures. Each contract represents 25 metric tons of the metal used to rustproof steel. Zinc for three-month delivery, the benchmark, climbed 3.5 percent during the period.

Open interest in LME lead futures advanced by 4,391 contracts to 165,210 lots, each equaling 25 tons of the metal used in batteries and radiation shielding. Lead for three-month delivery rose 7.4 percent during the week, leading gains among the six main industrial metals traded on the LME.

A combination of rising open interest and higher prices suggests new long positions, or bets on an advance, according to Macquarie Group Ltd.

Following are changes to market open interest for both LME members and their clients for the exchange’s six main industrial-metals futures. The figures were compiled by the LME.

                 Change in           Price Change
               Open Interest             (%)

Aluminum             3,799               5.3
Copper                 812               1.1
Zinc                12,193               3.5
Lead                 4,391               7.4
Nickel               2,503               0.5
Tin                   -418               0.8

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