April 1, 2019 / 4:52 AM / a year ago

METALS-Nickel leads pack as base metals rise on trade talk progress, China data boost

 (Adds Shanghai closing prices, updates London prices)
    By Mai Nguyen
    SINGAPORE, April 1 (Reuters) - Nickel prices jumped on
Monday, leading gains across the board in base metals markets,
after data showed stimulus measures in China, the world's
biggest nickel consumer, are boosting the economy and as
U.S.-China trade talks progress. 
    Factory activity in China unexpectedly grew for the first
time in four months in March, the official Purchasing Managers'
Index (PMI) showed on Sunday.
    U.S. President Donald Trump said last week trade talks with
China were going "very well", while Beijing said it would
maintain the suspension of additional tariffs on U.S. vehicles
and auto parts after April 1 in return for the U.S. delaying
tariff hikes on Chinese imports.
    "The PMI and negotiations between the U.S. and China are
going well ...and people are showing optimistic opinion about
future demand. Maybe the economy is not so bad as previously
expected," said a Guangzhou-based metals analyst, who asked to
remain unidentified citing her company's media policies.
    * NICKEL: London nickel jumped as much as 2.7
percent to $13,335 a tonne, its highest since March 21, and
stood at $13,315 a tonne as of 0726 GMT. The most traded May
nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 3
percent to a one-week high of 103,200 yuan just before the close
before ending up 2.9 percent. 
    * STOCKS: Nickel inventories at LME-approved warehouses
MNISTX-TOTAL are at 182,574 tonnes, the lowest since June
2013. On-warrant ShFE nickel inventories SNI-TOTAL-D dropped
to the lowest since August 2015 at 8,718 tonnes as of Friday.
    * ALUMINIUM: Shanghai aluminium rose as much as 1.5
percent to 13,900 yuan a tonne, the highest this year, easing
the pressure on Chinese smelters. 
    * ZINC: The metal used to galvanise steel, closed up 2.6
percent in Shanghai after touching 23,160 yuan a tonne,
its highest since March 2, 2018. LME zinc rose as much
as 1.1 percent to $2,955 a tonne, its highest since June.       
    * COPPER: Three-month LME copper added 0.5 percent
to $6,515 a tonne, while ShFE copper closed up 1.7
percent on 49,460 yuan a tonne. 
    * CHILE: Top copper miner Codelco produced 3.3 percent less
copper in 2018 than the year before as it continued to contend
with declining ore grades and rising costs.
    * PERUS: The leader of an indigenous community that has cut
off access to MMG's Las Bambas copper mine said he was
open to talks with the government, the first sign of a potential
breakthrough in a dispute that has halted exports of the mine,
responsible for 2 percent of global copper output.
 BASE METALS PRICES                       0738 GMT
 Three month LME copper                       6513
 Most active ShFE copper                     49450
 Three month LME aluminium                    1928
 Most active ShFE aluminium                  13865
 Three month LME zinc                         2950
 Most active ShFE zinc                       23125
 Three month LME lead                       2030.5
 Most active ShFE lead                       16940
 Three month LME nickel                      13310
 Most active ShFE nickel                    103130
 Three month LME tin                         21425
 Most active ShFE tin                       148530
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                            
 LME/SHFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc3  -1135.96
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc3   -1105.5
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc3   -561.86
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc3    670.67
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc3  -2786.22
($1 = 6.7065 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; additional reporting by Tom Daly in
BEIJING; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Christian Schmollinger)
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