Nickel Drops From Six-Week High as Colombia Mine Strike Canceled

(By Team London)  : Nickel fell from a six-week high after a strike in Colombia was called off and as London Metal Exchange stockpiles reached a record high.

The metal retreated as much as 0.7 percent after closing yesterday at the highest since Oct. 9. Workers at BHP Billiton Ltd.’s Cerro Matoso mine won’t strike this year as they seek to resolve a dispute over working hours, the union president said in an interview yesterday. Cerro Matoso is the world’s second-largest ferro-nickel producing mine, according to BHP’s website. Inventory monitored by the LME climbed to a record 397,236 metric tons yesterday, according to daily bourse data.

“LME stocks continue to break record levels, with most of the build occurring in Asia,” said Mark Keenan, Singapore-based head of commodities research for Asia at Societe Generale SA. “Overall, the market seems well supplied.”

Nickel for delivery in three months on the LME fell 0.4 percent to $16,577 a ton at 3:07 p.m. in Hong Kong.

Third-quarter economic growth in the U.S., the second-biggest user of industrial metals, will be revised down to 3.3 percent from 3.5 percent, according to a News survey before the data is released today. Germany (GRGDPPGQ) grew 0.1 percent in the same period, according to a separate survey.

Copper in London gained 0.2 percent to $6,689 a ton. In New York, March futures rose 0.5 percent to $3.02 a pound, while in Shanghai, the metal for January was little changed at 47,820 yuan ($7,788) a ton.

On the LME, aluminum, zinc and lead all rose, while tin hadn’t traded