Nickel climbed for a second day as declines for inventories prompted speculation that a recent slump for prices was overdone amid a tightening supply outlook.
Stockpiles tracked by the London Metal Exchange fell for a third straight day on Thursday. Prices touched a six-year low Wednesday partly amid concern that slowing economies would spur supplies to top global usage. The commodity rebounded after government data showed a manufacturing gain in China, the world’s biggest consumer.
“It’s feeling a bit like we’ve bottomed in the metals, and there’s upside potential,” Vivienne Lloyd, a base-metals analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd. in London, said in a telephone interview. “The second quarter typically has the industrial uptick that’s strongest.”
Nickel for delivery in three months climbed 2.5 percent to settle at $13,025 a metric ton at 5:50 p.m. local time on the LME. The metal rose 2.5 percent on Wednesday after touching $12,310, the lowest since May 22, 2009.
Prices are also probably gaining amid short covering, or the closing out of bearish bets, Daniel Briesemann, an analyst at Commerzbank AG in Frankfurt, said by e-mail.
Also in London, aluminum, lead, tin and zinc advanced.
Copper for delivery in three months fell 1.1 percent to $5,980 a ton ($2.71 pound) on the LME, capping the first weekly drop since March 6.
In New York, copper futures for May delivery slid 0.5 percent to $2.734 a pound on the Comex.