Nickel Caps Fourth Straight Weekly Loss on Signs of Ample Supply

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Nickel fell, capping the longest string of weekly declines since early January, as stockpiles of the metal rose near a record, signaling ample supplies.

Inventories tracked by the London Metal Exchange rose for a fourth day, to 433,752 metric tons, approaching the all-time high 435,048 on March 30. Demand concerns are adding selling pressure to industrial metals, after a report this week showed gross domestic product grew at the slowest pace last quarter since 2009 in China, the world’s biggest user.

“Nickel is a bit of a laggard due to rising stocks and a dearth of consumer demand,” Michael Turek, the head of base metals at BGC Partners Inc. in New York, said in an e-mail.

One the LME, nickel for delivery in three months slid 2.3 percent to settle at $12,555 a ton at 5:50 p.m. The metal fell for a fourth straight week, the longest slump since Jan. 2.

Prices declined even as workers held a strike at BHP Billiton Ltd.’s Cerro Matoso in Colombia, the world’s second-largest ferro-nickel mine.

Copper for delivery in three months closed unchanged at $6,060 a ton ($2.75 a pound) on the LME. Tin, zinc, aluminum, and lead declined.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for July delivery added 0.1 percent to $2.77 a pound.

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