Zinc, Nickel Rebound as China Inflation Eases Demand Concerns

  • Glencore says structural deficits returning, led by zinc
  • LME Nickel rebounds from its biggest loss in two months

Zinc and nickel advanced, a day after industrial metals posted the biggest selloff in two months, as data showing firming inflation eased demand concerns in China, the world’s biggest user.

The Asian nation’s consumer-price index rose 2.3 percent in April for a third straight month, while producer prices fell less than analysts estimated, government figures showed. An index of six main metals traded in London slid 2.6 percent on Monday as a drop in China copper purchases fueled investor worries that supply gluts will worsen.

“Inflationary numbers overall would benefit any commodity,” Tim Evans, the chief market strategist at Long Leaf Trading Group Inc. in Chicago, said in a telephone interview. “Key industrial commodities are front and center with respect to internal Chinese inflation numbers.”

Zinc for delivery in three months gained 0.7 percent to settle at $1,848 a metric ton at 5:50 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange. Nickel climbed 1.2 percent, after retreating 5.1 percent on Monday.

Structural deficits are returning, led by zinc, as “current reinvestment is insufficient to maintain current production levels over the medium term,” Glencore Plc said in a presentation for a mining conference on Tuesday.

In other metals:

  • Copper futures for July delivery dropped 0.7 percent to $2.0925 a pound on the Comex in New York.
  • On the LME, lead gained, while copper, aluminum and tin dropped.
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