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Zinc Is Biggest Gainer on LME on U.S. Growth Bets: LME Preview

Feb. 14 (Bloomberg) -- Zinc was the biggest gainer on the London Metal Exchange before a Labor Department report that may show a decrease in U.S. jobless claims, bolstering the demand outlook for the metal used in steel for housing.

Market News:

-- The German economy, Europe’s largest, contracted more than economists forecast in the fourth quarter as exports declined. {NSN MI77G16S972N <go>}

-- The French economy shrank in the fourth quarter as manufacturers slashed thousands of jobs and President Francois Hollande struggled to keep the nation from falling back into recession for the first time since 2009. {NSN MI75RR0UQVI9 <go>}

-- Japan’s economy unexpectedly shrank last quarter as falling exports and a business investment slump outweighed improved consumption, bolstering Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s case for more monetary stimulus to end deflation. {NSN MI76Q16S9728 <go>}

-- Indian inflation slowed to a more than three-year low in January, a deceleration that if sustained may boost room for another interest-rate cut as growth falters. {NSN MI75EO07SXKX <go>}

-- When currency-war rhetoric escalates, recent history suggests it’s time to buy the dollar. {NSN MI65IC6K50YF <go>}

-- President Barack Obama said the proposals in his State of the Union speech won’t increase the U.S. deficit “by a single dime.” He didn’t say they’d be free. {NSN MI75B66TTDTD <go>}

-- Asian stocks advanced, led by shares in Hong Kong that resumed trading following a three-day break, as an unexpected contraction in Japan’s economy last quarter bolstered the case for more monetary stimulus. Metals gained. {NSN MI757D0D9L35 <go>}

-- Gold demand rose 3.8 percent in the fourth quarter as Indian purchases jumped, narrowing the first drop in annual usage in three years, the World Gold Council said. India remained last year’s biggest buyer, ahead of China. {NSN MI64NK6S972A <go>}

Metals News:

-- Aluminum stockpiles in Japan climbed 11 percent last month to the highest level in almost four years, according to trading company Marubeni Corp. {NSN MI6XSA0YHQ0X <go>}

-- United Co. Rusal, the biggest aluminum producer, is setting the premiums clients must pay for its metal every month instead of annually as in previous years to more closely link the payments it gets to market movements. {NSN MI76VB6TTDWZ <go>}

-- Aurubis said demand for copper cathodes dropped in the first quarter. {nsn MI74ZG6K50ZR <GO>}

-- Rio Tinto Group, the world’s second-largest mining company, reported a wider second-half loss, the biggest in at least 16 years, after taking a $14 billion one-time charge on the value of its aluminum and coal business. {NSN MI76280D9L35 <go>}

-- Impala Platinum Holdings Ltd., the second-largest producer of the metal, said first-half profit declined 78 percent, missing analysts’ expectations, as output fell because of a strike at its biggest mine and costs rose. {NSN MI75S46TTDXK <go>}

Metals Prices:

-- Copper rose 0.1 percent to $8,235.50 a metric at 7:38 a.m. on
the London Metal Exchange. Relative strength index 57.
-- Aluminum added 0.2 percent to $2,145.75 a ton. RSI 63.
-- Nickel was unchanged at $18,375 a ton. RSI 60.
-- Lead advanced 0.5 percent to $2,413 a ton. RSI 56.
-- Tin was up 0.2 percent at $24,949 a ton. RSI 62.
-- Zinc gained 0.6 percent to $2,208.50 a ton. RSI 67.

Other markets:         Last          % Change   % YTD

U.S. Dollar Index     80.22            0.2        0.6
Crude Oil            $97.13            0.1        5.8
Gold              $1,643.28            0.1       -1.9
MSCI World Index   1,413.34            0.0        5.6

Economic Events:
                                    Survey    Prior      Time
FR Non-Farm Payrolls                -0.2%     -0.3%     07:45
EC Euro-Zone GDP                    -0.4%     -0.1%     10:00
US Initial Jobless Claims           360K      366K      13:30

To contact the reporter on this story: Claudia Carpenter in London at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Claudia Carpenter at

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