Nickel declined for the sixth time in seven sessions as stockpiles increased by the most in two months, signaling ample supplies.
Nickel inventories tracked by the London Metal Exchange climbed 1.2 percent to 457,890 metric tons, the biggest gain since May 26, as a slowdown in Chinese growth damped the demand outlook for the world’s biggest metals consumer. China equities this week posted the biggest one-day loss since 2007 as confidence wavered that government stimulus would shore up a rout in equities.
“Rising nickel stock on the LME puts pressure on the nickel price,” Richard Fu, the director of Asian commodity trading at Societe Generale Newedge U.K. Ltd. in London, said in a telephone interview. “Bearish factors like what has happened in the Chinese stock market cause someone to think it is impacting the economy on future growth.”
Nickel for delivery in three months dropped 0.7 percent to settle at $11,250 a metric ton at 5:50 p.m. on the LME.
Copper rose to $5,328 a ton ($2.42 a pound) on the LME. Zinc slid in London, while aluminum, lead and tin gained.
About 90 percent of copper mines remain profitable, according to Standard Chartered Plc, indicating that most producers still have little incentive to reduce output and prices could fall further.
Copper futures for September delivery added 0.2 percent to $2.4075 a pound on the Comex in New York.