Metals and Mining Stocks Slide as Nickel Falls Most in a Month

  • All major metals traded in London decline, lead by nickel
  • Copper falls to two-month low as strike at Codelco’s mine ends

Metals and mining stocks dropped, following a global selloff on concerns that central banks are preparing for tighter monetary policy. Nickel fell the most in a month and BHP Billiton Plc lost 5 percent.

Nickel for delivery in three months slumped as much as 4.1 percent to $9,950 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, retreating from its highest close since Aug. 15. It traded at $10,055 by 11:50 a.m. Copper sank to a two-month low as strike at Codelco’s mine ended. The FTSE 350 Mining Index fell 3.8 percent, led by losses in Anglo American Plc.

Shares in Europe and Asia dropped by the most since the aftermath of Britain’s June vote to leave the European Union, while oil fell after U.S. producers increased drilling. Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President Eric Rosengren said Friday that the U.S. economy could overheat should policymakers wait too long to tighten, spurring bets on an interest-rate hike by year-end.

"The cracks in the macro emerged late Friday and the ‘risk off’ theme has continued today," Matt France, head of Asia institutional sales for metals at Marex Spectron Group, said in a note Monday.

Copper dropped as much as 1.1 percent to $4,582 a ton, the lowest since June 20 before trading at $4,597 a ton, amid signs supplies are plentiful. Members of the processing-plant union at Codelco’s Salvador mine in Chile accepted a wage offer to end a five-day strike.

"If we close below $4,600, it would confirm a short-term bearish sentiment," Samuel Garson, partner at Sunrise Brokers LLP in London, said by e-mail.

Zinc fell 1.4 percent to $2,259 a ton on the LME. Lead slumped 1.8 percent to $1,868 a ton.

— With assistance by Winnie Zhu

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