October 13, 2017 / 7:24 AM / 10 months ago

METALS-Nickel leads metal prices higher as China party meeting looms

(Updates prices)

By James Regan

SYDNEY, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Nickel led gains in Shanghai metals futures, hitting a one-month high on Friday, on bets China’s Communist Party congress next week will result in stronger demand for imports.

The potential by China to accelerate or broaden moves to eliminate environmentally inefficient mines and metal plants to better meet international industrial standards following the meeting is seen as a potential boost for imports.

China, the most important trading partner of more than 130 countries, is the world’s biggest greenhouse gas emitter.

“Nickel once again led the sector higher, as an ongoing curb on Chinese output continues to support prices,” ANZ said in a note. “However demand also remains strong, particularly from the alloys industries.”

A weakened U.S. dollar and growing arbitrage opportunities, particularly in copper, were also fuelling gains, according to commodities traders, as premiums for copper held in China bonded zones have climbed by $9 this week to $74, the highest in more than two months. CU-BMPBW-SHMET

Copper was also underpinned by Chinese data showing monthly imports rose by 50,000 tonnes in September to 430,000 tonnes, the highest since March.

* LONDON NICKEL: Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange climbed 0.8 percent to a one-month high of $11,487.50 a tonne by 0700 GMT, extending a 2.3-percent rise from the previous session.

* SHANGHAI NICKEL: The most-traded nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed 3.27 percent higher at 92,290 yuan ($14,024.56) a tonne, the highest since Sept. 13.

* PARTY MEETING OUTCOME: Many metals market participants are awaiting the outcome of China’s Communist Party congress next week, Capital Economics analyst Caroline Bain said, for an indication of broader policy initiatives and their implications for metals demand.

* COPPER PRICES: Three-month LME copper was little changed $6,878 a tonne, after hitting an intraday one-month peak of $6,903 overnight. ShFE copper climbed just under 1 percent.

* CHINA COAL MINES SHUT: China’s Hebei province has ordered two big coal producers to shut a total of 59 mines during a key Communist Party gathering in Beijing later this month, state-run China Coal News reported on Thursday.

* MACQUARIE: Australia’s Macquarie Group, a rising commodities bank powerhouse due to its turn towards the energy sector, is paring back its aggressive lending against metals, three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

* WEAK DOLLAR: The dollar inched down on Friday, as U.S. Treasury yields stayed near recent lows, awaiting U.S. inflation data for a potential boost following this week’s fall from 10-week highs.


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 = 6.5806 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Joseph Radford and Sunil Nair

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