November 23, 2018 / 4:52 AM / 24 days ago

METALS-Nickel set for another weekly fall on supply surplus

(Adds details, updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, Nov 23 (Reuters) - London and Shanghai nickel fell on Friday, with the market on track for a five-day losing streak due to worries over supply surplus in 2019 and weaker demand from top consumer China.

London's three-month nickel lost 1.4 percent to $10,815 a tonne by 0736 GMT, its lowest in nearly a year, while Shanghai's most active nickel contract settled down 2.2 percent, its steepest single-day fall since Sept.3.

"I heard some Chinese investors are shooting (down) nickel price. They think nickel production in Indonesia will bring the market into surplus next year, and demand for stainless will be bad," said Peter Peng, an analyst at CRU Group.

"They expect nickel price down to around $8,000."

On a weekly basis, Shanghai nickel lost the most since November last year, settling down 5.8 percent from the previous Friday, while London nickel is on track for its third consecutive weekly fall.

Most of the other base metals fell as well, with prices capped by trade tensions between Washington and Beijing and as the market eyed a meeting next week between the two countries' leaders.

Trade talks between the United States and China should be equal and mutually beneficial, Chinese Vice Commerce Minister Wang Shouwen said, adding that he hoped the two countries can find ways to manage their differences through dialogue.

U.S.-CHINA: China rejected fresh U.S. accusations of perpetuating "unfair" trade practices and urged Washington on Thursday to stop making provocations, showing little sign of backing down days ahead a high-stakes meeting between leaders from both countries.

NICKEL OPEN POSITION: Open interest of the most active Shanghai nickel futures, the number of outstanding contracts held by traders and a gauge of liquidity, fell to 367,254 lots on Friday but was still around a four-month high level. (One lot equals 1 tonne.)

INDONESIA COPPER: Indonesia's environment ministry aims to resolve within two weeks environmental issues that have been holding up the state's plans to acquire a majority stake in Freeport McMoRan Inc's Grasberg copper mine.

PRICES: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 1 percent to $6,193 a tonne while Shanghai copper settled up 0.2 percent to 49,590 yuan a tonne in Asian trading hours.

PRICES

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 = 6.9412 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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