Nickel spiked on the London Metal Exchange on Friday and is the "clear outperformer so far this year", up 15.6%, according to Marex Spectron's Dee Perera.
The reason for Friday's gains were not entirely clear, Perera said, citing reports about China's tax subsidies for buying cars and speculation around post-election riots in Indonesia.
The nickel cash price closed 3.8% higher at US$12,347 per tonne.
BHP had also last week announced it would keep its previously non-core Nickel West division, prompted by the trend towards EVs.
Australian metals and mining stocks were up 1.2% in afternoon trade and nickel miner Western Areas (ASX: WSA) was one of the bigger risers, up 2.3%.
Base metal futures were mainly higher in Asian trade this afternoon.
European and Toronto market futures were also pointing higher at the time of writing.
North American and European markets had closed up on Friday.
Metals and mining stocks gained 1.55% in London on the FTSE100, where Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO) closed up 2.87%.
The gold price has recovered from last week's dip towards US$1,271 an ounce, trading earlier above $1,287/oz.
Canada-based producer New Gold (TSX: NGD) was one of the better performers on the S&P/TSX Composite Index on Friday, up 4.65%.