METALS-Nickel prices drop on worries China steel demand is losing its shine

(Updates prices)

SYDNEY, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Shanghai nickel prices fell on Friday on worries about growth in Chinese steel markets, with the sector heading into a low consumption period over winter.

The base metal, used widely to help make stainless steel, closed the week down 7 percent on the Shanghai Futures Exchange.

* SHFE NICKEL: The most-traded ShFE nickel contract ended Friday 1.73-percent lower at 92,750 yuan ($13,989.23). The contract closed the previous day down 2.6 percent.

* LME NICKEL: London Metal Exchange nickel had edged slightly higher by 0710 GMT, to $11,445 a tonne, only partially reversing a 2.7-percent fall overnight.

* OTHER SHFE METALS: The sell-off in nickel came amid a mixed finish in Chinese metals futures. Active ShFE copper gained 0.06 percent, while zinc was up 0.28 percent and aluminium dipped 0.81 percent.

* CHINA ECONOMY: China’s economy cooled further last month, with industrial output, fixed-asset investment and retail sales missing expectations.

* DOLLAR STEADY: The dollar steadied on Friday after coming off the week’s lows against its peers as earlier risk aversion in global financial markets receded, pushing up U.S. yields.

* FREEPORT FIRE: A fire broke out at the main port used by copper miner Freeport-McMoRan Inc in Papua, Indonesia, on Thursday night, company sources said.

* BHP Billiton, hopes to fully divest its troubled U.S. onshore shale business in around two years and is also seeking a buyer for its nickel business in Australia.

* VW: Volkswagen is not looking to secure long-term supplies of cobalt, a key ingredient of electric-car batteries, by investing in mines, a senior official at the automaker said.


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

ARBS ($1 = 6.6301 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Joseph Radford