METALS-Nickel supported by lower inventories, strong demand seen

December 8 (Reuters)Nickel prices rose on Wednesday as inventories at Shanghai Stock Exchange warehouses near record highs and the demand outlook for the steel sector remained strong.

The most traded February nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SNIcv1 was up 1.2% at 148,260 yuan ($23,334.07) a tonne, as of 0340 GMT. Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange CMNI3 rose 0.1% to $20,205 a tonne.

Stocks of refined nickel in ShFE warehouses NI-STX-GHS were at 5,563 tonnes last week, near a record low of 4,455 tonnes reached in August. LME Metal Stocks MNISTX-TOTAL fell 58% from April to 110,358 tons, their lowest level since December 2019.

LME nickel cash bonus on the three-month contract MNI0-3 stood at $150.80 a tonne, indicating tight supplies nearby.

“We expect nickel demand for stainless steel and non-stainless steel production to continue into 2022,” ANZ analysts said in a note, adding that demand would likely be boosted by sales targets. electric vehicles and renewable energies.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Copper ShFE SCFcv1 rose 0.1% to 69,580 yuan per ton, aluminum SAFcv1 gained 0.5% to 18,845 yuan per tonne, zinc SZNcv1 climbed 1.3% to 23,155 yuan per ton, lead SPBcv1 was up 1.6% at 15,140 yuan a ton and tin SSNcv1 rose 1.3% to 283,610 yuan per ton.

* LME Copper CMCU3 slightly lower by 0.3% at $9,570 per tonne, aluminum CMAL3 rose 0.3% to $2,636.5 per tonne, zinc CMZN3 gained 0.3% to $3,234.5 and leads CMPB3 was 0.9% higher at $2,205 a tonne.

* Peruvian government officials failed to broker a deal on Tuesday to unblock a key distribution corridor used by MMG Ltd. 1208.HK Las Bambas copper mine, according to minutes of the meeting seen by Reuters.

* For top metal stories and other news, click

TOP/MTL Where MET/L MARKET NEWS

* The Australian dollar hit a one-week high amid a pick-up in risk appetite on signs Omicron could be less severe than other COVID-19 variants, but still vulnerable to existing vaccines. USD/

* Asian stocks extended their gains, continuing a global relief rally as markets found positive news in early reports of the potential impact of the Omicron variant, though overnight rises in oil prices started to falter. MKTS/GLOB

($1 = 6.3538 Chinese Yuan)

(Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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