October 13, 2017 / 2:04 AM / in 6 days

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

SYDNEY, Oct 13 (Reuters) - Nickel led across-the-board gains in Shanghai metals futures 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 metals 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.

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

“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.”

FUNDAMENTALS

* LONDON NICKEL: Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.2 percent at $11,420 a tonne by 0100 GMT, extending a 2.3-percent rise from the previous session.

* SHANGHAI NICKEL: The most-traded nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange were 2.7 percent higher at 91,820 yuan ($13,942.75) a tonne.

* 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 flat at $6,887 a tonne, after hitting an intraday one-month peak of $6,903 overnight. ShFE copper climbed more than 1 percent at the open.

* COPPER STOCKS: Stocks of copper in LME warehouses MCU-STOCKS fell by another 1,025 tonnes, exchange data showed on Thursday. They are now down 9 percent from mid-September’s two-month peak.

* 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 STEADIES: The dollar steadied in early Asian trading on Friday, on track for weekly losses as investors awaited U.S. inflation data to gauge the likelihood that the Federal Reserve will stick to its plan to raise interest rates again this year.

* Asian stocks held firm near a 10-year high on Friday thanks to expectations of brisk global growth, although investors held off chasing the shares higher ahead of U.S. and Chinese economic data as well as the Chinese Communist Party congress next week.

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MARKETS NEWS

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DATA AHEAD (GMT) * China Trade balance Sep 1230 U.S. Consumer prices Sep 1230 U.S. Retail sales Sep 1400 U.S. Business inventories Aug 1400 U.S. Univ of Michigan sentiment index Oct *No fixed timing

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 = 6.5855 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Joseph Radford

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