China’s PMI Misses the Mark, Brings Down Nickel

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China’s official manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index fell to 49.8 last month from 50.1 in December, according to figures released Sunday in Beijing. That missed the median estimate of 50.2 in a Bloomberg survey. The final reading of HSBC Holdings Plc and Markit Economics’ China PMI was 49.7 in January, according to data released Monday. That compares with 49.6 in December and a forecast of 49.8.

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Aluminum and nickel declined on the London Metal Exchange but zinc was largely unchanged.

On Friday, January 30, the day’s biggest mover was the spot price of nickel, which saw a 1.5% decline on the LME to $14,700 per metric ton. The 3-month price of nickel declined 1.4% on the LME to $14,750 per metric ton, after two days of improvement. The Indian nickel cash price flattened at INR 922.90 ($14.93) after two days of improvement.

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Chinese stainless steel closed mixed last Friday. The price of Chinese ferro-chrome remained essentially flat at CNY 10,950 ($1,753) per metric ton. The price of Chinese ferro-moly continues hovering around CNY 87,000 ($13,929) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

The price of Chinese primary nickel fell 0.4% to CNY 108,400 ($17,356) per metric ton. The Allegheny Ludlum 316 stainless surcharge remained essentially flat at $0.94 per pound. The price of Chinese 316 stainless coil saw little movement at CNY 23,700 ($3,795) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 304 stainless coil was unchanged at CNY 16,700 ($2,674) per metric ton. The price of Chinese 316 stainless steel scrap continues hovering around CNY 12,950 ($2,073) per metric ton for the fifth day in a row.

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