LONDON, April 18 (Reuters) - Nickel soared to a three-year peak on Wednesday as what analysts said were misplaced concerns that the metal would become ensnared in U.S. sanctions on Russian companies caused it to break through key technical levels.

Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange soared 12 percent at one point to a more than three-year high of $15,875 a tonne, before closing up 7.5 percent at $15,275, its largest daily gain in 6-1/2 years.

Analysts at ING said their sources reported that Chinese traders, nervous about aluminium’s soaring rally in the wake of U.S. sanctions on Russia’s UC Rusal, misread a headline overnight about the London Metal Exchange delisting Nornickel brands.

Russia’s Nornickel is the world’s second largest producer of the metal. The LME said last October that on April 18, 2018, it would delist two brands from Nornickel for delivery against its futures contracts.

“It’s a misreading of the headline that the (Nornickel) brand is being delisted (today), that decision was taken six months ago, it’s nothing to do with the sanctions but when you (spark) a technical rally these things run free,” said Oliver Nugent, commodities strategist at ING.

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