Aluminum Posts Best Week in Year as Chinese Factories Improve

Updated on
  • Zinc caps biggest weekly advance in a month in London
  • Factory gauge in positive territory for first time in 8 months

Aluminum had its best week in almost a year and zinc climbed for a third day as an unexpected jump in a factory gauge eased demand concerns in China, the world’s biggest consumer of industrial metals.

China’s manufacturing purchasing managers index showed improving conditions for the first time in eight months, suggesting government efforts at fiscal and monetary stimulus is kicking in. In warehouses tracked by the London Metal Exchange, aluminum inventories shrank for a 13th straight session, the longest streak of declines since Feb. 12.

“Improved Chinese manufacturing data supports prices somewhat,” Michael Turek, the head of base metals at BGC Partners Inc. in New York, said in an e-mail. “Inventories continue to display interesting features. Some pundits calculate that there is less Aluminum inventory in China than originally thought.”

Aluminum for delivery in three months gained 1.1 percent to settle at $1,536 a metric ton at 5:50 p.m. on the LME, taking the weekly gain to 4.1 percent, the biggest since May 1. Zinc for delivery in three months climbed 3 percent to $1,872, ending the week 4.3 percent higher.

China’s manufacturing purchasing managers index rose to 50.2 in March, compared with a median estimate of 49.4 in a Bloomberg News survey of economists.

  • Copper in London slipped 0.2 to $4,835 a ton, after swinging between a gain of 1 percent and a loss of 0.9 percent
  • Copper stockpiles in China’s bonded warehouses jumped to the highest level in seven months, a sign of increasing supplies.
  • Shanghai’s biggest futures brokers switched to a net-short position on copper with 12,058 contracts, from a net-long position of 1,063 contracts one week ago.
  • Lead gained on the LME, while nickel slipped. Tin was unchanged.

— With assistance by Luzi-Ann Javier, and Winnie Zhu

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