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LME Halts Nickel Trading After Unprecedented 250% Spike

  • Top producer Tsingshan under pressure to meet margin calls
  • Prices spiked as short position holders scrambled to close out
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Nickel Trade Halted on LME as Price Spikes 250%
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The London Metal Exchange suspended trading in its nickel market after an unprecedented price spike left brokers struggling to pay margin calls against unprofitable short positions, in a massive squeeze that has embroiled the largest nickel producer as well as a major Chinese bank. 

Nickel, used in stainless steel and electric-vehicle batteries, surged as much as 250% in two days to trade briefly above $100,000 a ton early Tuesday. The frenzied move -- the largest-ever on the LME -- came as investors and industrial users who had sold the metal scrambled to buy the contracts back after prices initially rallied on concerns about supplies from Russia.