London nickel fell on Thursday, extending its pullback from a more than four-month peak reached the day before on supply concerns, while copper retreated after a three-day rise amid a stronger dollar.
Trading remained subdued, however, with markets in China still closed for the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.
* NICKEL: Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange dropped 0.2 percent to $12,925 a tonne by 0346 GMT, above a session-low $12,855. It ended 0.9 percent lower at $12,925 per tonne on Wednesday as the dollar firmed.
* COPPER: Three-month LME copper slid 0.6 percent to $6,241 a tonne, having reached a two-month high in the previous session.
* The dollar index, a gauge of its value versus six major peers, hovered close to its two-week high in early Asian trade.
* A stronger greenback makes dollar-denominated metals more expensive for holders of other currencies.
* TRADE TALKS: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Wednesday that he and other U.S. officials will travel to Beijing next week for trade talks, aiming to clinch a deal to avert a March 2 increase in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods.
* ZINC: London zinc rose 0.3 percent to $2,712 a tonne, after it pulled back from a seven-month high touched on Tuesday.
* COLUMN: Zinc has been on the climb this year, defying broader macroeconomic gloom and a previous consensus that its bull run was well and truly over.
* VALE: The Brazilian state of Minas Gerais cancelled Vale SA’s licence to operate a dam at one of its largest mines, the company said on Wednesday, following the collapse of another dam in the state that killed an estimated 300 people.
Nickel finished below $13,000 on Wednesday as profit-taking set in, following Monday’s 5 percent surge when a Brazilian state court ordered Vale to stop using eight tailings dams, INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said.
“Vale concerns continue to lend an element of support to nickel, not in the sense that the company’s nickel supply is in any way imperilled, but more on concern about the fines and operational restrictions that could be imposed on the company by the Brazilian government,” Meir said in a note.