IMF Lowers World Outlook, Nickel and Other Commodities Take the Hit

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Nickel fell for the first time in 4 days today, leading most industrial metals lower, after a gauge of economic strength in China pointed to a slowdown and the International Monetary Fund cut its global growth forecast.

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Nickel dropped as much as 1.2% and tin lost as much as 0.4%. HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics’ composite Purchasing Managers’ Index reading for China, the largest metals consumer, fell to 52.3 in September from 52.8 the previous month. The IMF lowered its global growth projection for next year to 3.8% from a July estimate for 4%. Industrial production in Germany, the third-biggest user, fell 4% last month, data showed yesterday.

Nickel for delivery in 3 months dropped as much as $195 to $16,755 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange and was as $16,785 at 3:17 p.m. in Hong Kong. Tin dropped to as low as $20,250 a ton, falling for a second day, Bloomberg News reported.

The Indian nickel cash price closed up Tuesday, October 7 at INR 1,038 ($16.93) per kilogram, halting two days of weakening prices with a 3.6% shift. On the LME, the 3-month price of nickel increased 1.8% to $16,595 per metric ton. On the LME, the spot price of nickel rose 1.3% to $16,480 per metric ton.

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Chinese stainless steel prices were flat for the day. For the fifth consecutive day, the price of Chinese ferro-chrome held flat at CNY 8,300 ($1,351) per metric ton. For the fifth day in a row, the price of Chinese ferro-moly remained essentially flat at CNY 145,000 ($23,609) per metric ton.

The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge held steady at $1.25 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil was unchanged at CNY 26,000 ($4,233) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil continues hovering around CNY 16,400 ($2,670) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around CNY 16,100 ($2,621) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless steel scrap held steady at CNY 16,400 ($2,670) per metric ton.

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