Metals Jump on Economic Optimism as Rand Strengthens With Miners – by Lukanyo Mnyanda and James Regan (Bloomberg News – October 25, 2016)

Metals are regaining their luster, a sign the global economy is becoming more resilient, helping to boost stocks and currencies of commodity-producing nations.

Iron ore surged by the daily limit of 6 percent on the Dalian Commodity Exchange and rising steel prices in China spurred a rally from aluminum to zinc. Currencies of resource-exporting nations, South Africa and Australia, led gains versus the dollar. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index headed for its strongest close in three weeks as earnings reports fueled optimism about the profitability of the region’s companies. Austrian and U.K. government bonds were weighed down by new supply.

ndustrial metals have gained steadily this year with an index of London Metal Exchange contracts poised for the first annual increase since 2012 as a pickup in manufacturing in the U.S. and euro area point to an economy that’s getting more robust.

A report Tuesday showing German business sentiment rose to the highest level in more than two years in October added to the sense of optimism. Better-than-expected earnings from General Motors Inc. and a cut in its sales forecast from Caterpillar Inc. indicated that the outlook for global growth remains uncertain. Apple Inc. is due to announce earnings after markets close Tuesday.

“We’ve had a whole host of better-than-expected manufacturing data,” said Ole Hansen, the head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank A/S in Hellerup, a Copenhagen suburb. “Strong gains in China, led by steel and iron ore, are supporting the sentiment, which in turn has attracted increased speculative trading across the metals space.”

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