* GRAPHIC-2017 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl
* LME/ShFE arb: bit.ly/2wZSAEz (Updates with closing prices)
By Eric Onstad
LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Nickel prices bounced back on Monday after two sessions of losses as industrial consumers bought metal to guard against further price gains and speculators also piled in.
Nickel prices had shed 7 percent by Friday’s close since touching a two-year peak of $13,030 a tonne at the start of the month.
The rally in nickel, which has gained 23 percent this year, was driven by hopes that growth in electric vehicles would boost demand for the metal in batteries. Nickel is currently mainly used to produce stainless steel.
“We’re seeing good consumer hedging activity,” said Gianclaudio Torlizzi, partner at consultancy T-Commodity in Milan, adding that fund buying was probably extending the rise.
“The consumer side got very scared over the last two months after the summer price rally. They are pretty willing to hedge as soon as possible in order to avoid being trapped again.”
* NICKEL: Benchmark nickel on the London Metal Exchange jumped 3.1 percent to close at $12,490 a tonne, rebounding after prices hit their lowest in more than a week on Friday.
* CHINESE STEEL: Nickel had support from gains in Chinese steel rebar futures as output cuts in major steelmaking cities tightened supply. Iron ore also rose.
* VALE: Vale suspended operations at its Coleman nickel mine in Canada due to safety concerns, the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation said on Friday. bit.ly/2hv5mq2
* COPPER: Three-month LME copper climbed 1.6 percent to finish at $6,895 a tonne, after small losses in the previous session. Prices last week fell to the weakest in around a month at $6,761.50.
Torlizzi said copper’s gains above resistance at $6,880 had prompted him to go long after being neutral.
* FREEPORT: Copper got some support after the Indonesian unit of Freeport-McMoRan Inc closed the main supply route to its huge Grasberg copper mine on Sunday following a shooting incident, but it was reopened on Monday.
“The shooting incident that caused the closure highlights increasing tension at the world’s second-largest copper mine. But onshore (Chinese) premiums are unchanged and trading at flattish to a discount,” Alastair Munro at Marex Spectron said in a note.
* ALUMINIUM: LME aluminium added 0.3 percent to end at $2,108 a tonne as selling by Commodity Trading Advisors was met by consumer hedging and fund buying, traders said.
* PRICES: Zinc dipped 0.2 percent to close at $3,213 a tonne, lead rose 0.2 percent to $2,523 a tonne and tin added 0.4 percent to $19,500 a tonne.
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Reporting by Eric Onstad, editing by Dale Hudson and David Evans