Aluminium has rebounded from a 15-month low, rising alongside other metals as buyers returned to markets, denting the dollar.
Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange ended 0.6 per cent higher at $US1,966 tonnes after touching an August 2017 low of $US1,953 on Wednesday.
‘Risk sentiment has recovered with equity markets also up … Yesterday, aluminium fell below $US2,000 and that’s a good opportunity for buyers to bargain hunt,’ said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke.
Market participants were also betting on economic stimulus measures in China after the world’s top metals consumer pledged to boost domestic infrastructure spending to combat a perceived slowdown in its economy, he added.
Month-end buying of dollars on Wednesday ceased with the start of November, analysts said, while a stronger euro and sterling also pushed the greenback down.
On-warrant stocks of aluminium in LME-registered warehouses available to the market fell by 1,825 tonnes to 723,900 tonnes.
China’s aluminium smelters are under pressure from current low prices, with the situation exacerbated by high costs of key raw material alumina, analysts say.
Chinese imports of scrap metal from the United States fell in September, according to customs data, spelling out the impact of tariffs imposed by Beijing, while India and Iceland benefited from a boom in Chinese alumina exports.
China’s manufacturing sector barely grew last month after stalling in September, a private survey showed, a day after the country’s official Purchasing Managers’ Index showed the slowest growth in over two years.
Nickel rebounded from a 10-month low touched on Wednesday, ending 2.7 per cent higher at $US11,785 tonnes.
Japanese trading house Sumitomo Corp on Thursday lowered its forecast for nickel output at its Ambatovy project in Madagascar to slightly above 40,000 tonnes in the year to March 31, below its projection in May of 48,000 tonnes.
Miner and trader Glencore said it saw significant structural deficits continuing in the nickel market due to limited supply and demand being ‘much stronger than most market participants recognise’.
The premium for cash zinc over the three-month LME contract hovers near one-year high.
Copper rose 1.6 per cent to $US6,089 per tonne, zinc finished the session up 1.9 per cent at $US2,540, lead added 1.5 per cent to $US1,953, while tin was flat at $US19,100.