Marex attributed the gain to a surge in stainless steel prices.
It said the strength in the broader base metals complex was due to Chinese restocking ahead of the Beijing Olympics next month.
"Clearly onshore is still facing uncertainty around the latest COVID surge with two cities now in lockdown," it said.
"So we note on the wires, China's leadership sending a call for an urgent infrastructure push - alluding to the surmounting obstacles and growth stabilisation taking precedence while boosting domestic consumption."
M&A activity in nickel has been on the rise of late - witness the recent battle between BHP and Andrew Forrest's Wyloo Metals for control of Noront Resources. With Wyloo emerging victorious, BHP has already begun to look elsewhere, with an announcement earlier this week it will invest in Tanzania-focused private player Kabanga Nickel.
Gold rose yesterday in the aftermath of Jerome Powell's renomination hearing before the Senate Banking Committee. The precious metal is currently trading at US$1,820/oz.