Zinc Heads for Three-Week High as U.S. Auto Sales Beat Estimates

Zinc rebounded and headed for the highest close in three weeks after automobile sales beat estimates in the U.S., the second-largest metals consumer.

Zinc gained as much as 1.1 percent in London. Light vehicles in the U.S. during October sold at a seasonally adjusted annual rate 16.46 million units, beating the median estimate of 16.4 million in a Bloomberg survey of analysts, according to Autodata Corp. Manufacturing in the country advanced last month at a faster pace than projected, according to data released yesterday. Cars and other transportation accounts for about 25 percent of global zinc consumption, according to the International Lead and Zinc Study Group.

“Demand is quite good” in the U.S., said Chae Un Soo, a metals trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul. “Car sales have been quite good in the last few months. Strengthening U.S. manufacturing is helping metals demand.”

The Institute for Supply Management’s factory index released yesterday increased to 59 in October, beating estimates and indicating persistent domestic demand is keeping order books full and allowing U.S. factories to withstand slower global markets.

Zinc for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.5 percent to $2,311.50 a metric ton at 5:23 p.m. in Hong Kong. The metal last closed above that level on Oct. 14 at $2,348 a ton.

Copper in London was little changed at $6,726.25 a ton. In New York, December futures were down 0.2 percent at $3.06 a pound, while in Shanghai the metal for January climbed 0.9 percent to close at 47,700 yuan ($7,798) a ton.

On the LME, lead and tin rose while aluminum and nickel fell.

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