Zinc was poised for a fourth weekly advance on speculation that China, the biggest user, will take measures to spur growth, boosting demand prospects for the metal amid dwindling stockpiles.
The contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange advanced 0.4 percent to $2,280.75 a metric ton at 3:10 p.m. in Hong Kong. The metal has risen 2 percent this week, reaching a 35-month high of $2,318.50 on July 8.
China will approve all the planned 64 rail projects by the end of August, China Business News reported today, citing an unnamed person with knowledge of the matter. The nation’s exports trailed estimates last month, putting pressure on policy makers to consider stronger stimulus. LME stockpiles for zinc have fallen 29 percent this year to 661,850 tons, the lowest since December 2010.
“Shrinking inventories and lower ore grade fueled concern that the market will be in a shortage,” said Chae Un Soo, a metals trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul. “Demand will remain strong as China will keep investing in infrastructure to support growth.”
China’s central bank will refrain from choking the supply of cash in the third quarter to lower financing costs and help an economy projected to expand at the slowest pace in 24 years, according to a Bloomberg survey. Global zinc demand will exceed supply by 290,000 tons in 2014 and by 300,000 tons in 2015, according to Morgan Stanley.
Copper in London was little changed at $7,162.25 a ton, set to climb for a fourth week. Futures for September delivery were little changed at $3.2705 a pound on the Comex in New York, while the contract for the same month climbed 0.7 percent to close at 50,910 yuan ($8,204) a ton in Shanghai.
On the LME, nickel advanced to pare its first weekly drop in four. Lead also rose, while tin and aluminum were little changed.