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METALS-London nickel jumps as China returns after break
October 10, 2016 / 3:22 AM / a year ago

METALS-London nickel jumps as China returns after break

* Copper speculators add to net long position - CFTC

* ShFe lead rallies 3.3 pct as momentum-based funds buy - traders

* US markets shut for a public holiday on Monday (Adds detail, updates prices)

By Melanie Burton

MELBOURNE, Oct 10 (Reuters) - London nickel rose on Monday as Chinese markets returned after a week-long break and traders bought the metal, which fell last week when Indonesian officials said they were considering reinstating nickel ore exports.

Indonesia could export up to 15 million tonnes of nickel ore in 2017 if it amends a ban on unprocessed ore exports, a mining ministry official said on Friday.

The news poured cold water on prices that had rallied after a rash of nickel mine suspensions in the Philippines which threatened supply to top user China’s vast stainless steel industry.

“Nickel finds itself in a situation where two key producers - Indonesia and Philippines - are both in the midst of revaluating their export policies,” analyst Ed Meir of INTL FC Stone said in a report.

“A number of (Indonesian) companies have set up... downstream facilities and could be in a position to benefit from any relaxation in export policies, and this, in turn, should weigh on prices.”

Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange climbed 2.3 percent to $10,430 a tonne by 0700 GMT. Prices fell 3.5 percent last week.

Meanwhile concerns about China’s slowing growth and a widening clampdown on searing hot home prices could also curb demand for metal, Meir said.

China’s central bank governor stepped up rhetoric against rapid rises in home prices and continued credit growth, signalling further action on top of recent fresh curbs across a number of cities to cool their overheated real estate markets.

China’s services sector created jobs at the fastest pace in seven months in September as new business picked up, even though the overall rate of growth was little changed from August, a private survey showed.

In other metals, Shanghai Futures Exchange nickel rose by 0.4 percent while ShFE copper cut early losses to turn flat. Shfe lead rallied 3.3 percent as momentum-based buying returned, and ShFE aluminium jumped 2.8 percent.

Rallying lead prices are unlikely to be sustained, with the run higher fuelled by a temporary smelter outage and one player keeping a tight grip on inventories rather than long-term shortages of physical metal, sources said.

U.S. employment growth eased for a third straight month in September and the jobless rate rose, but the slowdown was not expected to prevent the Federal Reserve from raising interest rates later this year.

In news, hedge funds and money managers raised their net long positions in COMEX copper contracts in the week to Oct. 4.

Mining operations at Freeport-McMoRan Inc.’s giant Grasberg mine in Indonesia “have returned to normal” after resolution of a labour dispute, the company 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

Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin and Sunil Nair

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