Nickel Declines to Lowest in a Week as Inventories Increase

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Nickel prices fell to the lowest in a week as a jump in inventories added to signs of ample supply.

Stockpiles in warehouses tracked by the London Metal Exchange rose 0.5 percent to 443,352 metric tons, approaching the record on April 30. In China, the world’s top consumer of industrial metals, industrial output in April increased 5.9 percent from a year earlier, trailing estimates by analysts, government data showed Wednesday.

“The market is not tight, and China’s growth is at best lukewarm,” Bart Melek, the head of commodity strategy at TD Securities in Toronto, said in a telephone interview. “The market wants to see some growth measures out of China.”

Nickel for delivery in three months fell 1.9 percent to settle at $13,780 a metric ton at 5:50 p.m. on the LME. Earlier, the price touched $13,765, the lowest since May 7. The metal has tumbled 31 percent in the past 12 months.

Copper fell 0.1 percent to $6,401 a ton ($2.90 a pound) on the LME. Zinc, aluminum and lead declined, while tin advanced.

On the Comex in New York, copper futures for July delivery fell 0.2 percent to $2.9235 a pound.