Nickel slides to six-week low on deteriorating fundamentals (Australian Financial Review/Reuters – November 29, 2017)

Nickel prices hit their lowest level in more than six weeks on Tuesday as the market fretted about weaker demand in top consumer China and rising supplies from major producer Indonesia.

Benchmark nickel on the London Metal Exchange ended down 1.9 per cent at $US11,350 a tonne. In earlier trading the metal used mostly in stainless steel fell to $US11,255, its lowest since October 12.

Copper slipped 2 per cent to $US6805, aluminium fell 1.5 per cent to $US2102.5, zinc lost 0.9 per cent to $US3158, lead ceded 1.5 per cent to $US2427 and tin was down 0.1 per cent at $US19,550.

“We do see China demand coming off and more material coming out of Indonesia. That will prevent [nickel] prices moving up from here,” said Cru Group consultant Mark Beveridge.

The gradual lifting of Indonesia’s ban on raw material exports, imposed in early 2014, has seen more nickel ore make its way to world markets, particularly to China.

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