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METALS-Stronger steel prices sweep nickel higher

SYDNEY, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Steel-dependent metal nickel posted early gains on Tuesday in both Shanghai and London markets in step with a stronger showing in Chinese steel futures.

Nickel is chiefly used in making stainless steel.


* NICKEL RISING: The most-traded nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was up 1.3 percent at 94,710 yuan ($14,285) a tonne by 0126 GMT. Traders said the metal was finding support from stronger ShFE rebar futures , which were up more than 1 percent for the second day running.

* LME NICKEL: Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange was also slightly firmer at $11,677 a tonne, extending gains from the previous session.

* COPPER SMELTER BACK: Global miner Rio Tinto Plc restarted the smelter at its large Kennecott mine in the United States last Friday after a nearly six-week outage but force majeure on refined copper has not yet been lifted, a company spokesman said on Monday.

* LEAD/ZINC DEFICITS: The global lead market swung into a deficit in September while the zinc market deficit widened slightly from with the previous month, data from International Lead and Zinc Study Group showed.

* DOLLAR STANDS TALL: The dollar gave back some of its gains in Asian trading on Tuesday but remained not far from a one-week high against a basket of currencies as German political woes continued to pressure the euro.

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* Asian stocks tracked gains by Wall Street and edged up on Tuesday, while the dollar hovered near a one-week high against its peers thanks to higher U.S. yields and a floundering euro.

* Oil prices fell 0.8 percent on Monday, extending recent weakness ahead of next week’s OPEC meeting, while a rally in the dollar hurt commodities across the board.

DATA AHEAD (GMT) 1330 U.S. National activity index Oct 1500 U.S. Existing home sales Oct


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 = 6.6300 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by James Regan; editing by Richard Pullin