- All six main metals traded on LME climb, helping boost miners
- Chinese economic data signal improvement in domestic demand
Nickel climbed the most in more than three months, leading industrial metals and producers higher, as monetary stimulus by the European Central Bank and an improving trade outlook in China boosted investor appetite for commodities.
The ECB entered new territory in its efforts to stimulate the euro region’s flagging economy, plunging into the corporate bond market on Wednesday and buying the debt of some of the continent’s biggest companies. In China, imports slipped 0.4 percent in May, the smallest drop since late 2014, signaling improvement in domestic demand. The nation’s passenger-vehicle sales rose for the ninth time in 10 months.
Wednesday’s rally erased nickel’s losses this year, as all the main metals traded on the London Metal Exchange climbed, helping send a gauge of 18 industrial metal producers tracked by Bloomberg Intelligence to the highest in more than a month. Vedanta Resources Ltd., Anglo American Plc and Teck Resources Ltd. paced gains in the index. Freeport-McMoRan Inc. was the fourth-biggest gainer on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.
“Better Chinese data and ongoing central bank stimulus in Europe are all ingredients for healthy metals,” Michael Turek, the head of base metals at BGC Partners Inc. in New York, said in an e-mail.
Nickel for delivery in three months advanced 4.4 percent to settle at $8,960 a metric ton at 5:51 p.m. on the London Metal Exchange, swinging to a 1.6 percent gain this year from a 2.7 percent loss as of Tuesday.
The data from China suggests the country imported “relatively large quantities” of commodities last month, according to a research report from Commerzbank AG. The nation is the world’s biggest user of raw materials and evidence of slowing demand sent prices tumbling last year.
Aluminum, copper, zinc, lead and tin also gained on the LME, while copper futures advanced on the Comex in New York.