Metals Gain as Asian Stocks Rebound; Swiss Franc Weakens

Asian Stocks
Pedestrians walk past an electronic stock board outside a securities firm in Tokyo. Japan’s Topix added 0.5 percent, with just five of 33 industry groups retreating.

Industrial metals advanced, with copper rebounding from its lowest close since 2010, as Asian shares rose. The Swiss franc weakened while corn extended its biggest slump in more than three months.

Copper climbed 0.6 percent, leading a rebound in industrial metals at 9:40 a.m. in London. The MSCI Asia Pacific Index rose 0.3 percent, while the Europe Stoxx 600 Index and futures on Standard & Poor’s 500 Index were little changed. The Swiss Franc weakened from the strongest in more than two years versus the dollar. Currency volatility, a gauge of expected price swing, fell to the lowest in almost 15 months, as traders assessed the situation in Ukraine. Corn fell 0.5 percent after dropping 2.2. percent yesterday.

Germany’s current account surplus came in higher than economists’ estimates as exports jumped more than projected, while data show U.K. factory production rose more than forecast. China will press on with interest rate liberalization and trialling private banks, regulators said today after exports plunged and credit growth trailed estimates. Japan’s Topix index capped its fifth advance in six days as the Bank of Japan maintained a pledge to expand the monetary base.

“Investors can be more confident if the core of Europe is doing well,” said Carsten Hilck, who oversees about $6.9 billion at Union Investment Privatfonds GmbH in Frankfurt. “Germany is still a very strong exporter and the economy is on the right track. Investors can get very nervous with geopolitical risk but there’s a lot of liquidity to stabilise the market as soon as prices come down.” 

Copper futures in London climbed to $6,691 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange, after settling yesterday at $6,649, the lowest closing price since July 2010. Aluminum and tin climbed while nickel jumped as much as 2 percent to the highest since April.

The franc dropped against all but two of its 16 major peers. It dropped 0.2 percent to 87.94 centimes per dollar after climbing to 87.57 centimes on March 7, the strongest since October 2011.