Commodities

METALS-Copper rallies to $8,700 level on supply worries, weak dollar

Credit: REUTERS/Moritz Hager

Industrial metals rose across the board in London and Shanghai on Friday, with benchmark LME copper scaling its highest level since February 2012 on tight supply concerns, a weak U.S. dollar and speculation about demand prospects.

Updates prices, adds comment

Feb 19 (Reuters) - Industrial metals rose across the board in London and Shanghai on Friday, with benchmark LME copper scaling its highest level since February 2012 on tight supply concerns, a weak U.S. dollar and speculation about demand prospects.

Nickel soared to its strongest level since 2014 as a tropical storm headed for southern Philippines, China's biggest supplier, fuelling worries about declining port inventory of the stainless steel ingredient in the world's top metals consumer.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 rose 2% to $8,722.50 a tonne by 0701 GMT, after hitting $8,737 earlier in the day, and was set for its third successive weekly advance.

Copper on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SCFcv1 ended daytime trading 2.5% higher at 64,170 yuan ($9,929.90) a tonne, after touching 64,330 yuan, the highest level since 2011.

"The global copper inventory is generally at a low level," analysts at Huatai Futures in China said in a note, adding that China's demand was expected to remain robust after the week-long Lunar New Year holiday that ended on Wednesday.

"There may be a temporary shortage of supply" in China, the analysts said.

* A weaker dollar also helped boost the appeal of greenback-priced metals.

* Before the holiday, copper stocks in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange had fallen 60% since September to below 80,000 tonnes. CU-STX-SGH

* Copper inventories in LME-registered warehouses are near their lowest since 2005 at 76,025 tonnes while the premium for cash copper over three-month metal rose, suggesting tight nearby supply. MCUSTX-TOTAL, MCU0-3

* London nickel CMNI3 climbed as much as 2% to $19,535 a tonne, the highest since September 2014. Shanghai's most-active February nickel jumped 4% to 144,050 yuan a tonne.

* In Shanghai, tin SSNcv1 surged 6%, aluminium SAFcv1 rose 0.8%, zinc SZNcv1 jumped 2.2%, and lead SPBcv1 added 0.6%.

* In London, aluminium CMAL3 advanced 0.8%, zinc CMZN3 advanced 1.1%, and lead CMPB3 gained 0.2%.

(Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Devika Syamnath)

((enrico.delacruz@tr.com))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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