Zinc prices advanced to a four-week high on speculation that global economic gains forecast by the International Monetary Fund will spur demand for the metal amid declining supplies.
Stronger U.S. growth this year and next will help the world economy withstand weaker recoveries in emerging markets including Brazil and Russia, the IMF said today in a report. Refined supplies will fall short of consumption by 117,000 metric tons this year, the International Lead & Zinc Study Group said on April 3.
“All these reports could do is remind people that the fundamentals are decent and demand isn’t bad,” Bart Melek, the head of commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “Some people are reversing their short positions,” or bets on price declines, he said.
Zinc for delivery in three months gained 1.2 percent to settle at $2,027 a ton at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Earlier, the price reached $2,029, the highest since March 11.
Inventories tracked by the LME have dropped 28 percent in the past 12 months.
On the Comex in New York, copper futures for May delivery rose 0.4 percent to $3.051 a pound, the highest settlement since March 7. Trading was 35 percent higher than the 100-day average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
In London, copper fell less than 0.1 percent. Aluminum, lead and nickel rose, while tin dropped.