London: Nickel rose to the highest ever on the London Metal Exchange (LME) for the third consecutive day as supplies dwindled. Lead reversed gains that earlier sent prices to a record for a second session.
Inventories of nickel monitored by the exchange fell 312 tonnes, or 6.1%, to 4,812 tonnes, LME said on 5 April. That’s the biggest one-day drop since 8 March, bringing the decline in the past year to 85%.
“Nickel inventories are very low, making the market very vulnerable to more upside,” Sudakshina Unnikrishnan, a metals analyst at Barclays Capital, said. Barclays is among the 11 companies that trade on the LME floor.
Nickel for delivery in three months gained $250 (Rs10,750), or 0.5%, to $49,650 a tonne as of 12:25pm in London. Earlier, it traded at $50,000 a tonne, the highest ever. The metal, used in stainless steel, has risen 50% this year, posting the largest increase among the seven industrial metals traded on LME. Expanding demand from stainless-steel producers have provided “a very strong environment” for prices to rise, Unnikrishnan said.
The so-called relative strength index of nickel rose to 71.25 on 5 March.