December 4, 2019 / 4:20 AM / 7 days ago

METALS-Nickel extends losses on fears of longer, expanded trade war

 (Adds comments, updates prices)
    MANILA, Dec 4 (Reuters) - Nickel prices slid on Wednesday,
with the Shanghai benchmark hitting its lowest in more than four
months, on concerns that an expanded and longer trade war may
dent demand for the key ingredient in stainless steel and
electric vehicle batteries.  
    Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange         fell
1.1% to $13,225 a tonne, by 0326 GMT, extending declines from
    The most-traded nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange          slumped as much as 4.6% to 103,360 yuan 
($14,684.11) a tonne, falling for a seventh consecutive session
to hit its weakest since July 29.
    After announcing tariffs on steel and aluminium from
Argentina and Brazil and threatening duties on French goods,
U.S. President Donald Trump suggested that a trade deal with
China may come only after the November 2020 U.S. election.
    While nickel is the only base metal with gains this year,
"current actions over global tariffs have changed the driving
force behind this...price performance", said Natalie Scott-Gray,
senior metals analyst at INTL FCStone.
    "These actions have transformed nickel's story of heightened
supply concerns in Q3, to one more commonly associated with its
base metal group characteristics, of weak demand," she said.

    TRADE DEAL: U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Tuesday
rejected any deadlines on a trade deal with China and launched a
fresh attack on telecoms company Huawei         , further
dimming hopes for an end to a 17-month trade war that has slowed
global growth.             
    COPPER: Low inventories across the copper supply chain mean
that any resolution to the U.S.-China trade war could trigger a
snap rally in prices as consumers rush to restock, market
participants said.             
    GLENCORE: Glencore          could announce a new chief
executive next year once a new management team is in place, its
current boss told an investor meeting as the commodities giant
laid out its priorities for 2020.             
    RIO: Rio Tinto Plc                  said it would spend $1.5
billion to expand its Kennecott copper mine in Utah, part of a
growing trend by miners to invest in strategic mineral projects
across the United States.             

    Three month LME copper                  
    Most active ShFE copper                  
    Three month LME aluminium               
    Most active ShFE aluminium               
    Three month LME zinc                    
    Most active ShFE zinc                    
    Three month LME lead                    
    Most active ShFE lead                    
    Three month LME nickel                 
    Most active ShFE nickel                   
    Three month LME tin                     
    Most active ShFE tin                             

    ($1 = 7.0389 yuan)

 (Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz, Editing by Sherry
Jacob-Phillips and Uttaresh.V)
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