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Nickel Falls to 3-Week Low on LME on China Property: LME Preview

Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Nickel dropped to a three-week low in London after China Business News said the government may impose real-estate curbs next month.

Market News:

-- China’s stocks fell the most in a month after valuations for the benchmark index climbed to the highest level in 17 months and on concern the government may introduce measures to curb property prices next month. {NSN MIGC3Z6JTSE8 <go>}

-- European Union car sales fell to a record low, with Ford Motor Co. and PSA Peugeot Citroen posting the biggest drops, as economic contractions in the southern part of the region widened to Germany and France. {NSN MIGGLB6TTDU0 <go>}

-- The yen strengthened for the first time in three days after Japan’s finance minister raised doubts about buying foreign bonds to stimulate the economy by weakening the currency. Chinese shares retreated the most in a month while soybeans and silver advanced. {NSN MIGD7Q6TTDT2 <go>}

-- Germany is insisting that the euro region’s rescue fund plays safe on direct aid for banks, underscoring that governments might not be able to count on the firewall to remove the burden of bailouts. {NSN MIFJ021A1I4H <go>}

-- The yen rose for the first time in three days as Japan’s finance minister raised doubts about buying foreign bonds to end deflation by weakening the currency. {NSN MIGFJP6JTSEC <go>}

-- The options market is signaling that the threat of a breakup in the 17-nation euro bloc is disappearing as the price of insurance against wild swings in the region’s single currency fall to a five-year low. {NSN MIG1WX6JIJVH <go>}

-- Japanese Finance Minister Taro Aso said the government has no intention of buying foreign bonds through a fund with the Bank of Japan, comments that caused the yen to strengthen. {NSN MIG5KK6K50YF <go>}

Metals News:

-- “Widespread” stayaway by workers at Anglo American Platinum’s operations in the north of South Africa in support of miners injured in clashes at Siphumelele mine yday, spokeswoman Mpumi Sithole says in phone interview. {nsn MIGGR56S9728 <GO>}

-- Iron ore is poised to decline in the next two months as prices near the highest level since October 2011 discourage buyers from China, the world’s largest importer, according to Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. {NSN MIGFBU6JIJWU <go>}

-- Recycled battery lead from electric bicycles is leaving China, the world’s biggest consumer and producer of the metal, with the largest glut in six years. {NSN MIG6596TTDSS <go>}

-- Mitsubishi Materials Corp., Japan’s third-largest copper producer, said it plans to increase refined metal production by 29 percent this year at its Gresik smelter in East Java, Indonesia. {NSN MIG8670D9L35 <go>}

-- Arrium Ltd., Australia’s second-largest steelmaker, reported a wider first-half loss after writing down the value of steel assets due to a stronger Australian dollar and weak demand. {NSN MIGDY06TTDT2 <go>}

-- Steel reinforcement-bar futures rose in Shanghai from the lowest level this month on speculation demand for the building material will increase as construction projects resume following China’s biggest holiday. {NSN MIG7OR6TTDSQ <go>}

Metals Prices:

-- Copper declined 0.3 percent at $8,098.25 a metric at 7:37
a.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Relative strength index 47.
-- Aluminum slipped 0.4 percent to $2,109 a ton. RSI 53.
-- Nickel dropped 0.6 percent to $17,750 a ton. RSI 45.
-- Lead slipped 0.4 percent to $2,381.75 a ton. RSI 50.
-- Tin was down 1.7 percent at $23,900 a ton. RSI 45.
-- Zinc fell 0.4 percent to $2,146.50 a ton. RSI 54.

Other markets:         Last          % Change   % YTD

U.S. Dollar Index     80.58           -0.1        1.0
Crude Oil            $95.40           -0.5        3.9
Gold              $1,613.77            0.2       -3.7
MSCI World Index   1,409.18            0.1        5.3

Economic Events:
                                    Survey    Prior      Time
GE Zew Survey                        35        31.5     10:00
EC Construction Output               --        -0.4%    10:00

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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