Base Metals Rebound as Nickel Rises Most in Three Weeks

Industrial metals advanced after the longest losing streak since October, with nickel climbing the most in three weeks after data showed orders to remove the metal from warehouses increased.

Nickel for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 2.5 percent, the most since Jan. 30, to $17,050 a metric ton, and traded at $17,031 at 2:38 p.m. in Shanghai. The LME Index of six primary metals fell for the fifth day yesterday, declining to the lowest level since Dec. 24.

Metals from copper to zinc and tin tumbled 4.9 percent from Feb. 14 through yesterday. Canceled warrants for nickel jumped 7.6 percent, the most since Feb. 1, to 22,578 tons yesterday, as stockpiles rose to 154,398 tons, the highest since April 2010, bourse data showed. In China, new home prices rose in 53 of the 70 cities the government tracks in January, compared with 54 in December, and prices are likely to stabilize, said the National Bureau of Statistics.

“Given the losses in the last few days, people are buying a bit today,” Ma Jian, an analyst at Orient Futures Co., said by phone from Shanghai. “Concerns over China’s property sector and worries over the Fed’s pullback in stimulus will continue to weigh on sentiment and prices.”

Minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee’s Jan. 29-30 meeting, released on Feb. 20, showed several policy makers said the Fed should be ready to vary the pace of the $85 billion in monthly bond purchases.

Copper for delivery in May on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained 0.2 percent to 57,740 yuan ($9,259) a ton, and the May contract on the Comex in New York rose 1 percent to $3.6055 per pound. Copper, aluminum, zinc, tin and lead on the LME climbed.

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