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Nickel Rises to 14-Month High on Indonesia Ban, Ukraine

Nickel advanced for an 11th day to the highest level since February 2013 on concern that Indonesia’s ban on unprocessed ore exports will limit global supplies and as tensions escalated between Ukraine and Russia.

The metal for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange climbed as much as 2.6 percent to $17,845 a metric ton and traded at $17,796 at 3:22 p.m. in Shanghai. Today’s gain marks the longest winning streak since October 2010.

Indonesia’s ban that began in January and tension between Russia and Ukraine will push up prices, said Heng Kun, head of the base metals research with Essence Securities Co. in Beijing. Russia is home to OAO GMK Norilsk Nickel, the world’s biggest producer of the refined metal.

“Chinese nickel pig iron producers will have to purchase some ore from the market while Indonesia keeps the policy unchanged,” Heng said. China is the biggest user.

Russia sought an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council after at least one Ukrainian serviceman was killed in clashes in Slovyansk, about 240 kilometers (150 miles) from the Russian frontier. U.S. and Ukrainian officials accused Russia of being behind the violence.

Nickel inventories monitored by the LME fell 0.7 percent to 276,936 tons on April 11, the lowest since March 19, and are headed for the first monthly loss since June 2012, exchange figures showed. Orders to remove the metal from warehouses gained 0.6 percent to 134,004 tons.

Copper in London was little changed at $6,671.5 a ton. The Comex contract for delivery in May rose 0.4 percent to $3.054 a pound in New York. In Shanghai, futures for delivery in July were little changed to close at 46,780 yuan ($7,531) a ton.

On the LME, aluminum was little changed, while zinc, lead and tin gained.

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