Metals Climb With Miners on China Central Bank Support for Yuan

  • Gains in copper, nickel help reduce this year's losses
  • Yuan up most since 2005 as PBOC chief seeks to ease pressure

Nickel rallied the most in two months, leading gains in other metals, after China’s central bank stepped up efforts to restore stability to the yuan and the economy. Anglo American Plc and other miners advanced.

China’s balance of payments is good, its capital outflows are normal, and the exchange rate remains stable against a basket of currencies, Zhou Xiaochuan, governor of the People’s Bank of China, said in an interview published over the weekend. The yuan surged the most since 2005 against the dollar.

"The PBOC comments have actually stabilized the sentiment," Xiao Fu, head of commodity strategy at Bank of China International in London, said by phone. "They are starting to communicate with the market more. From a sentiment point of view, that’s supportive for the base metals markets."

Nickel for delivery in thee months rose as much as 5.8 percent and was 5.5 percent higher at $8,250 a metric ton by 4:58 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Copper gained 1.4 percent to $4,564 a ton. Lead earlier touched the highest since July before falling 1.3 percent.

Nickel rebounded after signs that prices were oversold and amid production cutbacks, while comments from Chinese authorities also aided metals, Michael Turek, head of base metals at BGC Partners Inc. in New York, said by e-mail. Reduced concerns about more yuan devaluations should support metals, he said.

Anglo, Glencore

Anglo American advanced 5.1 percent to close at the highest since December in London. The company, which had its credit rating cut to junk by Moody’s Investors Service on Monday, is scheduled to report annual results Tuesday.

Freeport-McMoRan Inc. jumped as much as 9.9 percent in Frankfurt after agreeing to sell an additional stake in its Morenci mine in Arizona to Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. for $1 billion. Glencore Plc shares added 2.8 percent.

Markets in China resumed trading after the Lunar New Year holiday. Comex floor trading is closed in the U.S. for the Presidents Day, while electronic trading continued.

China’s imports of copper slipped in January, with inbound shipments of unwrought copper and products dipping 17 percent for the first drop since October, and concentrate volumes falling 21 percent from a record in December.

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