Nickel Falls Into Bear Market With Tin on China Concerns

Nickel and tin prices in London joined copper in a bear market as concern escalated that the economy is slowing in China, the world’s top user of industrial metal.

A Purchasing Managers Index in China, the second-biggest economy, fell in April from March and trailed estimates by analysts, a report showed today. In the U.S., manufacturing last month expanded at the slowest pace in four months. A gauge of six base metals tumbled to a 33-month low. Stimulus by central banks may be having less impact on metal prices, said Edward Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone in New York.

“Today’s weakness in base metals is largely attributable to the poor Chinese PMI numbers that came out overnight,” Meir said in a report. “Commodity investors do not seem to be responding as they once were to easy money, but are instead pining to see more evidence of growth setting in.”

Nickel for delivery in three months declined 3.7 percent to settle at $14,825 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange. The price tumbled more than 20 percent from the closing high of $18,730 on Oct. 1, entering a bear market.

Tin fell 1.9 percent to $19,975 a ton. The price has dropped 20 from the Jan. 18 close of $25,025.

On April 19, copper fell into a bear market on the LME.

A gauge measuring aluminum, copper, nickel, zinc, lead and tin on the LME tumbled 3.2 percent to 2,976.9, the lowest since July 5, 2010. The drop was the biggest since Dec. 14, 2011.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.