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Nickel Spreads Collapse as Banks Face Soaring Financing Costs

  • Key nickel spread plunges to deepest discount since 2008
  • European banks see cost of borrowing in dollars surge
Nickel chips in Ontario, Canada.

Nickel chips in Ontario, Canada.

Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg
Updated on

Nickel sales by commodities-dealing banks hit by soaring borrowing costs have caused spot contracts to plunge to the deepest discount to futures since the 2008 financial crisis.

The jump in the dollar and borrowing costs have made it much more expensive for banks to finance London Metal Exchange positions in recent days, particularly for European institutions funding dollar-based deals. Nickel is the highest-priced metal actively traded on the LME, and moves in currency and rates markets have left lenders rushing to unload positions that are becoming more costly to hold, according to several traders involved in the market.