Darren Kugler
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Darren Kugler in Commodities,

Nickel Leads Metals Higher Before European Industrial Output

Nickel extended gains and copper rose from the highest level in a week before euro-region industrial output data and after better-than-expected trade figures from China, the world’s largest metals user.

Nickel increased as much as 1 percent while copper added as much as 0.5 percent after closing yesterday at the highest since Oct. 6. Industrial output during August in countries that share the euro fell 1.6 percent from the previous month, when it expanded by 1 percent, according to a Bloomberg News survey before data today.

Exports by China, the world’s largest metals consumer, increased 15.3 percent from a year earlier, the biggest rise since February 2013 and more than the 12 percent median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of analysts, according to figures released yesterday.

“Markets generally have taken comfort from the latest China economic data,” said Gavin Wendt, founder and senior resource analyst at Mine Life Pty in Sydney. “The fundamentals of the nickel industry remain overwhelmingly positive.”

Nickel has risen 19 percent this year to be the best performer on the London Metal Exchange afterIndonesia in January implemented a ban on exports of unprocessed ore.

The metal for delivery in three months on the LME rose for a second day, climbing as high as $16,623 a metric ton. It was up 0.9 percent at $16,603 a ton at 3:04 p.m. Hong Kong time. Copper for delivery in three months gained 0.3 percent to $6,729.50 a ton.

In New York, copper for December delivery increased 0.3 percent at $3.048 a pound, while in Shanghai metal for the same month rose 0.5 percent to close at 48,100 yuan ($7,854) a ton.

On the LME, lead and tin advanced while aluminum and zinc were little changed.