London nickel prices rose on Monday to their highest in more than a decade, boosted by low inventories, while investors were cautious over the Ukraine tensions.
US President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed in principle to a summit over Ukraine, the French leader said, offering a possible path out of one of the most dangerous European crises in decades.
Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange CMNI3 was up 0.8% at $24 335 a tonne, as of 07:15 GMT, after hitting $24 545 – its highest since August 2011.
The most-traded March nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 1.6% at 179 530 yuan ($28 359.53) a tonne, having earlier hit its highest in nearly a month.
“Strong sales in electric vehicles are favouring demand for battery materials, including nickel,” analysts at ANZ said in a note, adding the ongoing Ukraine-Russia tension and consequent supply risk are adding to spread volatility.
The premium for cash nickel over the three-month contract MNI0-3 rose to $465 a tonne on Friday, suggesting tightness in nearby supplies. Nickel stocks in LME-registered warehouses MNISTX-TOTAL have fallen about 69% since April last year to 83,328 tonnes.
* LME copper CMCU3 edged up 0.2% to $9 973 a tonne, aluminium eased 0.1% to $3 259.5, lead CMPB3 fell 1.1% to $2 322.5, zinc inched 0.1% higher to $3 579 and tin fell 0.3% to $44 000.
* ShFE copper eased 0.1% to 71 460 yuan a tonne, aluminium fell 0.6% to 22 595 yuan, zinc shed 1.2% to 24 845 yuan, lead was down 0.7% at 15 385 yuan and tin rose 0.4% to 338 500 yuan.
* Data last week showed copper inventories in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 27.9% to 136 300 tonnes from the previous week. – (Reuters)