September 27, 2016 / 7:32 AM / in 4 years

METALS-Nickel rebounds as Philippines suspends 20 more mines

* Nickel up 1.2 pct as Philippines suspends 20 more mines

* Copper down 0.2 pct, aluminium almost unchanged (Recasts with Philippines decision to close more mines)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, Sept 27 (Reuters) - Nickel bounced back on Tuesday, rising more than 1 percent after authorities in the Philippines ordered the suspension of 20 more mines for environmental violations, most of them nickel producers.

Copper slid, while aluminium was almost unchanged after climbing to its highest in almost five weeks in the previous session on dollar weakness and strong European demand.

Nickel futures on the London Metal Exchange jumped 1.2 percent to $10,655 a tonne by 0705 GMT, recouping Monday’s decline.

LME copper gave up 0.2 percent to $4,833 a tonne, extending losses from the previous session. The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed down 0.2 percent at 37,680 yuan ($5,651) a tonne.

If those recommended for suspension are eventually halted, it would bring to 30 the total number of mines closed in the Southeast Asian nation, 18 of them nickel producers that account for more than half of the country’s total nickel ore output, based on last year’s production.

Each miner that was ordered suspended “will be given a report and then they will have to explain their violations”, Environment and Natural Resources Undersecretary Leo Jasareno told a news briefing.

Still, there were doubts over the implementation of the mine closures.

“There has been a lot of talk and concerns about the Philippines cutting production but we have to watch the developments and measures adopted by the government going forward,” said analyst Judy Zhu of Standard Chartered in Shanghai.

“It seems to me that the implementation of such regulations in the Philippines as well as in Indonesia have been very much changeable. Their track record is that they can change overnight.”

The Philippines accounts for more than 90 percent of China’s nickel ore imports and signs of supply interruptions typically trigger higher prices for the metal used in producing stainless steel.

LME aluminium gained 0.03 percent to $1,661.50 a tonne after rising 1.5 percent on Monday.

“Aluminium prices were higher on good demand from Europe, with premiums in that region continuing to trend higher,” ANZ said in a research note, referring to the price move on Monday.

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 ($1 = 6.6674 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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