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Nickel jumps on tight supply, stainless steel restocking

China’s nickel futures rose more than 2 percent to a near five-month high on Monday, while London nickel touched a fresh six-month peak, as the metal used to make stainless steel tracked the ferrous complex higher.

“The price of stainless steel continues to rise (and) supplyof ferronickel is very tight,” GF Futures said in a note, adding that Wuxi Stainless Steel Exchange inventories had risen by over 10,000 tonnes, or 4.2 percent, since the first half of February.

Chinese steel mills are “actively replenishing their stocks amid rising stainless steel prices,” and nickel supply will remain tight in the short term, CITIC Futures said in a note.

On the London Metal Exchange, nickel prices, which jumped by 1.1 percent on Friday, have climbed almost 25 percent so far this year, making the metal the best performer in the LME complex.

* LME NICKEL: Three-month LME nickel rose as much as 1.6 percent to $13,405 a tonne, the highest since Aug. 30, and was at $13,330 a tonne as of 0709 GMT.

* SHFE NICKEL: The most-traded May nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed as much as 2.4 percent to 105,630 yuan a tonne, its highest since Oct. 11, before closing at 104,901 yuan.

* NICKEL STOCKS: Nickel inventories in LME-registered warehouses MNI-STOCKS have declined for eight days in a row and stand at just under 197,000 tonnes, down from more than 330,000 tonnes a year ago.

* VALE: The chief executive of Brazil’s Vale SA, the world’s top nickel producer, and several other senior executives resigned on Saturday in what the company described as a temporary move.

* COPPER: Three-month LME copper edged down 0.3 percent to $6,458.50 a tonne, while ShFE copper closed down 0.5 percent at 50,010 yuan a tonne.

* TARIFFS: The United States Trade Representative’s office has released language to delay a scheduled hike in tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods, due to be published in the Federal Register next week.

* GLENCORE: Glencore said trade barriers are its “foremost risk”, but climate, political, legal and other potential dangers have become more pressing.

* DGCX: The Dubai Gold & Commodities Exchange (DGCX) said on Saturday it was launching two new base metal products, aluminium futures and zinc futures.

* Asian shares started the week on the front foot on signs the United States and China were close to striking a tariff deal to end their protracted trade war.

 BASE METALS PRICES                       0721 GMT
 Three month LME copper                       6459
 Most active ShFE copper                     49980
 Three month LME aluminium                    1909
 Most active ShFE aluminium                  13735
 Three month LME zinc                         2788
 Most active ShFE zinc                       22120
 Three month LME lead                       2148.5
 Most active ShFE lead                       17700
 Three month LME nickel                      13325
 Most active ShFE nickel                    104910
 Three month LME tin                         21630
 Most active ShFE tin                       150300
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                            
 LME/SHFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc3    -318.8
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc3  -1044.82
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc3   -203.44
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc3    354.71
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc3  -1418.09

Source: Reuters

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