By James Regan
SYDNEY, Aug 24 (Reuters) - Chinese nickel futures surged on Thursday to a near six-month high on the back of strong gains in overnight London Metal Exchange prices amid supply concerns and declining inventories.
The metal used in making stainless steel was buoyed by worries over exports from the Philippines, after data showed output fell 24 percent in the first half of the year amid an environmental crackdown that has seen at least eight nickel mines suspended since last year.
* Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange was flat at $11,660 a tonne by 0700 GMT, after touching $11,825 overnight, the highest since last November.
* The most-traded nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended 2 percent higher a 94,000 yuan ($14,106.70) a tonne, the highest since early March.
* NICKEL STOCKS: Prices were supported by a fall in on-warrant stockpiles of nickel at LME-registered warehouses to the lowest since January after 5,682 tonnes of cancellations. MNISTX-TOTAL
* LONDON COPPER: LME copper was up 0.6 percent at $6,607 a tonne, reversing losses from the previous session.
* SHANGHAI COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper gained 0.48 percent to 51,890 yuan a tonne.
* SHANGHAI ZINC: ShFE zinc reversed earlier gains to close modestly lower at 25,930 yuan, while LME zinc was 0.6 percent higher at $3,114 a tonne.
* ShFE aluminium was up 1.3 percent after rising as much as 3 percent to its highest since February 2012, while LME aluminium at $2,095 was little changed.
* STOCKS: COMEX copper stocks rose by a net 271 tonnes on Monday. There was some light two-way action at New Orleans and arrivals at both Tucson and Salt Lake City.
* NEW COPPER MINE: OZ Minerals Ltd said it would begin construction of its Carrapateena copper mine in Australia, the country’s largest undeveloped copper project, which it estimated would cost A$916 million ($724 million).
* SOUTH32 GAINS: Australian-based miner South32 Ltd S32.AX posted an eight-fold rise in its annual underlying earnings on Thursday, as a broad recovery in metal prices offset disruptions to its coal business.
* VEDANTA UP: Diversified miner Vedanta Resources’ first-quarter core earnings rose about 48 percent on higher zinc production, with renewed demand for the metal driven by higher steel production in China.
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 = 6.6635 Chinese yuan)
Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Richard Pullin and Subhranshu Sahu