Zinc Climbs to One-Year High as China Retains Economic Target

Zinc advanced to the highest level in more than a year as industrial metals rose after China retained its economic growth target.

The contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 1.1 percent to $2,143.50 a metric ton, the highest intraday level since Feb. 20 last year, and traded at $2,139.50 at 3:44 p.m. Hong Kong time. The metal has added 4.3 percent this year.

Inventories tracked by the LME fell 0.6 percent to 753,700 tons, the lowest level since December 2011. according to bourse data yesterday. Chinese Premier Li Keqiang retained a target for 7.5 percent expansion in the world’s second-largest economy this year, signaling limits on the leadership’s efforts to curb pollution and credit expansion.

“I guess we’ve dodged a bullet in the sense it could have been much more bearish,” said Graeme Train, a Shanghai-based commodity analyst at Macquarie Group Ltd.

Copper in London gained 0.2 percent to $7,063 a ton. Futures for May delivery on the Comex in New York rose 0.2 percent to $3.2195 a pound, while the contract for the same month in Shanghai closed 0.8 percent higher at 49,380 yuan ($8,050) a ton.

China’s demand for the metal used in wires will grow at 7.5 percent this year, matching the nation’s economic growth target, said Li Baomin, chairman of Jiangxi Copper Co. Li said copper prices would average at $7,100 a ton in London this year.

Helen Lau, a commodities analyst at UOB Kay Hian in Hong Kong, said demand for raw materials would slow down from last year. “There is still oversupply in China,” she said.

On the LME, aluminum, lead, nickel and tin also rose.

Nickel’s five-day advance took its price to the highest intraday level since June 5.

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