Nickel Leads Metal Rally as China’s Cash Crunch Eases

Nickel prices in London rose from a four-year low, leading a rebound in industrial metals, on signs that a cash crunch eased in China, the world’s biggest buyer.

China’s benchmark money-market rate fell for the fifth straight session, the longest slump in two months, on indications that the central bank is adding funds. On June 24, an index of six base metals traded in London slumped to a three-year low amid concern the liquidity shortfall would erode demand. Tin rose as much as 1.3 percent today on forecasts that shipments will drop from Indonesia, the top supplier.

“Signs of easing -- and therefore support -- are evident from China,” Commerzbank AG analysts, including Frankfurt-based Daniel Briesemann, said in a report. “Alongside nickel, tin is also among the biggest winners.”

Nickel for delivery in three months rose 1.8 percent to settle at $13,850 a metric ton at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Yesterday’s settlement was the lowest since May 2009.

Tin climbed 0.4 percent to $19,775 a ton. Indonesian exports will probably drop 20 percent this year, according to the median of estimates from seven smelter executives and one analyst compiled by Bloomberg.

Copper stockpiles monitored by the LME fell 0.5 percent to 667,425 tons. Canceled warrants, or metal earmarked for delivery, rose to a record 375,425 tons.

Copper gained 0.2 percent to $6,750 a ton ($3.06 a pound). Zinc and lead climbed, while aluminum dropped.

The LME index of six prices has slumped 15 percent this year.

In New York, copper for September delivery advanced 0.6 percent to close at at $3.0595 a pound on the Comex.

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