Nickel Touches a 1-Month High After Chinese Purchasing Managers’ Index Release

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Nickel rose for a second day as Indonesia reaffirmed a ban on ore exports even as a gauge of manufacturing fell to a 6-month low in China, the biggest user of industrial metals.

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The metal used in stainless steel advanced  to its highest level in a month. A senior adviser to the Indonesian government said yesterday the ban will remain in place in the country, the largest producer of mined nickel ore. The Philippines has largely replaced Indonesia’s ore supply exports to China but monsoon season is limiting their exports over the last two months. China’s November preliminary Purchasing Managers’ Index from HSBC Holdings PLC and Markit Economics was just at 50, below the median estimate of 50.2 in a Bloomberg News survey. Numbers above 50 indicate expansion.

The spot price of nickel saw a 0.3% increase on Wednesday, November 19, reaching $15,645 per metric ton on the LME and making it the biggest mover for the day. On the LME, the 3-month price of nickel gained 0.3% to finish at $15,700 per metric ton. The Indian nickel cash price held steady around INR 975.40 ($15.80) per kilogram.

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Chinese stainless steel prices closed flat for the day. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome saw little movement at CNY 8,300 ($1,356) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly continues hovering around CNY 145,000 ($23,685) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

The price of Chinese primary nickel ended a two-day climb, settling at CNY 106,800 ($17,445) per metric ton. The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge saw essentially no change for the fifth day in a row, remaining around $1.06 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil held steady at CNY 26,000 ($4,247) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil was unchanged at CNY 16,400 ($2,679) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap remained steady at CNY 31,500 ($5,145) per metric ton.

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