May 25, 2018 / 5:46 AM / 4 months ago

METALS-Shanghai nickel hits near 3-yr high as base metal prices rise

 (Adds Shanghai closing prices, updates London prices)
    BEIJING, May 25 (Reuters) - Base metals rose on Friday, led
by nickel in Shanghai as investors bet that demand for the metal
would increase in line with China's electric vehicle (EV) boom.

    The most traded July nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange rose as much as 3.4 percent to 111,660 yuan
($17,479.38) a tonne, its highest since June 2015, before
closing up 1.8 percent at 109,880 yuan a tonne.    
    Nickel on the London Metal Exchange was flat at
$14,900 a tonne after a 1.7 percent jump on Thursday. 
    Guy Wolf, global head of market analytics at Marex Spectron
in Singapore, said the market was being driven by consumers
looking to store the metal in anticipation of a rise in prices,
even though increased demand from the EV battery sector remains
a long way off. 
    If traders "decide that they want to accumulate two years'
worth of inventory of nickel, it actually doesn't matter what
the end market is doing," Wolf said.      
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * ALUMINIUM: LME aluminium climbed by 0.6 percent in
London and closed 1 percent higher on the ShFE, whose
aluminium stocks fell by 10,104 tonnes from the previous week to
973,712 tonnes, according to exchange data released on Friday.  
   
    * RUSAL: Russian metals tycoon Oleg Deripaska stepped down
as a director of his aluminium firm Rusal as part of a
choreographed series of steps which he hopes will persuade the
U.S. government to rescind sanctions that have crippled his
businesses.
    * COPPER: London copper rose 0.1 percent to $6,887 a
tonne by 0513 GMT, as traders weighed the potential closure of a
major smelter in India. Shanghai copper closed up 0.3
percent at 51,490 yuan a tonne.
    * COPPER: India's Tamil Nadu state said on Thursday that it
was seeking a permanent closure of a big copper smelter run by
London-listed Vedanta Resources after 13 people died in
protests demanding the closure of the plant on environmental
grounds.
    * LEAD: Lead shrugged off an early dip to rise 0.2
percent to $2,500 a tonne in London. It is up 6.7 percent so far
this week, its best weekly performance since January 2017, on
dwindling stocks and a crackdown on recycling capacity in China.
Shanghai lead added another 0.5 percent, and is up 9.8
percent in May.
             
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    MARKETS NEWS    
    * Global shares were on the mend on Friday as Pyongyang's
measured response to U.S. President Donald Trump's announcement
to call off a key summit with North Korea healed market
sentiment, although investors remained cautious.    
        
    PRICES 
 BASE METALS PRICES                      0744 GMT
 Three month LME copper                      6906
 Most active ShFE copper                    51490
 Three month LME aluminium                   2294
 Most active ShFE aluminium                 14820
 Three month LME zinc                        3048
 Most active ShFE zinc                      23690
 Three month LME lead                      2500.5
 Most active ShFE lead                      19990
 Three month LME nickel                     14895
 Most active ShFE nickel                   109880
 Three month LME tin                        20315
 Most active ShFE tin                      146470
                                                 
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                           
 LME/SHFE COPPER             LMESHFCUc3     83.66
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM          LMESHFALc3  -2233.96
                                         
 LME/SHFE ZINC               LMESHFZNc3    513.94
 LME/SHFE LEAD               LMESHFPBc3    233.73
 LME/SHFE NICKEL             LMESHFNIc3  -2763.38
                                         
 
($1 = 6.3881 Chinese yuan)

    
 (Reporting by Tom Daly; additional reporting by Melanie Burton
in MELBOURNE; Editing by Richard Pullin and Subhranshu Sahu)
  
 
 
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