Nickel prices rose from a six-year low after data showed a manufacturing rebound in China, the world’s biggest user of industrial metals.
The official Purchasing Managers’ Index in March climbed to 50.1 from 49.9 in February, Chinese data showed Wednesday. The reading signaled expansion and exceeded estimates by analysts in a Bloomberg survey. In the first quarter, nickel tumbled 18 percent, the third straight decline.
“The official Chinese PMI data is much better, so I think that’s probably the reason why nickel moved higher this morning,” Richard Fu, director for Asian commodity trading at Societe Generale Newedge U.K. Ltd. in London, said in a telephone interview.
Nickel for delivery in three months rose 2.5 percent to settle at $12,705 a metric ton at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Earlier, the price touched $12,310, the lowest since May 22, 2009. Zinc and lead also climbed.
Copper for delivery in three months gained 0.1 percent to $6,045 a ton ($2.74 a pound).
Aluminum and tin fell as companies in the U.S. added fewer workers than forecast in March.
Employment climbed 189,000, below the 225,000 median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of economists, figures from the ADP Research Institute in Roseland, New Jersey, showed Wednesday.
“Because the figure is much much worse than expected, that’s one of the reasons we’ve seen a drift down in the other metal prices,” Fu said.
Copper futures for May delivery rose 0.3 percent to $2.7485 a pound on the Comex in New York.