Zinc Falls to Six-Year Low as Metals Fall on China Concerns

Zinc dropped to the lowest in more than six years amid signs of ample supply and concern that demand is faltering in China, the world’s biggest user. Nickel closed at the lowest in 12 years.

Global refined zinc output of 10.486 million metric tons January through September exceeded demand of 10.298 million tons, the International Lead and Zinc Study Group said in a report Wednesday. China President Xi Jinping said the economy faces “considerable downward pressure,” while data showed the nation’s home-price recovery slowed in October.

“It certainly continues to point to a more bearish view on China, and they haven’t released any other stimulative type of measure,” Mike Dragosits, a senior commodity strategist at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “The market continues to trade pessimistically on the Chinese demand outlook.”

Zinc for delivery in three months lost 2 percent to settle at $1,517 a metric ton at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. The metal earlier touched $1,510.50, the lowest since July 2009.

Nickel for delivery in three months fell 1.4 percent to $8,980 a ton on the LME, the lowest settlement since August 2003. Aluminum, copper, zinc, lead and tin also declined in London.

A plunge in metals this year has hurt profits for the biggest mining companies. Glencore Plc shares slid 29 percent in a record nine straight declines through Tuesday, even after the Baar, Switzerland-based company has sold assets and cut output.

In New York, copper futures for delivery in March slid 1.3 percent to $2.083 a pound on the Comex.

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