By Mai Nguyen
SINGAPORE, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Nickel prices rose on Thursday amid signs of near-term tight supply on the London Metal Exchange (LME), while other base metals moved in tight ranges as the demand outlook remained clouded by the U.S.-China trade dispute.
LME nickel, which has jumped nearly 50% this year amid worries about supply disruption from top producer Indonesia, advanced 0.5% by 0718 GMT, while Shanghai nickel (ShFE) rose 1.8%.
The premiums of LME cash nickel over the three-month contract MNI0-3 rose to a decade-high of $97 a tonne, indicating a shortage of nearby supply. One party holds 50% to 80% of available LME inventories, data showed. <0#LME-WHL>
“Barring the importance of Indonesia in global nickel supply chain, we are of the view that nickel’s recent price action that defies the performance of all other base metals is overdone,” said analyst Helen Lau of Argonaut Securities in a note.
* NICKEL STOCKS: Nickel stocks in LME-approved warehouses have picked up slightly, and inventories in warehouses tracked by ShFE rose 2.6% to 29,771 tonnes as of Aug. 23 from a week earlier, the latest data showed. MNISTX-TOTAL SNI-TOTAL-W
* MCC NICKEL: A battery nickel processing plant owned by Metallurgical Corp of China (MCC) that spilled mine waste into Papua New Guinea’s Basamuk Bay faces compensation claims and possible closure.
* COPPER: LME three-month copper rose 0.4% to $5,713 a tonne, while the most-traded copper contract on ShFE eased 0.1% to 46,550 yuan ($6,562.99) a tonne.
* OTHER PRICES: London aluminium was unchanged, zinc increased 0.7% and lead edged up 0.1%. Shanghai aluminium decreased 0.5% and tin rose 0.2%.
* YUAN: China’s yuan extended losses for the 11th day on Thursday, knocked down by corporate demand for dollars ahead of a new tariffs to be implemented. A weaker yuan may make U.S.-priced metals more expensive for Chinese buyers.
* TARIFFS: The Trump administration on Wednesday made official its extra 5% tariff on $300 billion in Chinese imports and set collection dates of Sept. 1 and Dec. 15, prompting hundreds of U.S. companies to warn of price hikes.
* LYNAS: Australian rare earths producer Lynas Corp posted a 50% jump in annual profit on Thursday on record production, and said it is still to decide on a site for a planned heavy rare earths processing plant.
* LITHIUM: China’s biggest lithium producer, Ganfeng Lithium Co,, saw its first-half profits plunge 59% as rising supply of the material used in batteries for electric cars caused a slump in prices.
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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 = 7.0928 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Richard Pullin and Sriraj Kalluvila)