July 12, 2016 / 3:59 AM / in 4 years

METALS-Nickel advances for third day as Philippine supply threat simmers

* GS hikes nickel forecast by 29 pct to $11,000 in three months

* GS hikes three month zinc view by 15 pct to $2,300 (Adds comment, detail, updates prices)

By Melanie Burton

MELBOURNE, July 12 (Reuters) - London nickel climbed for a third day on Tuesday on Philippine supply concerns, while copper also rose thanks to a robust U.S. labour report that fanned a Wall Street rally and whetted risk appetite.

Some investors are taking heart from a steady recovery in the United States and prolonged easier policy by central banks around the world that is raising the relative value of hard assets.

Concerns that the Philippines, China’s top supplier of nickel ore used in making stainless steel, may shut some mines after a month-long review that started in July has boosted nickel prices. Nickel prices in London have jumped more than 7 percent since the country announced the review on July 1.

Cuts to China’s steel industry also fuelled gains.

“It’s not clear cut ... (but) at the very least there is a reasonable portion of Philippine supply risk and at the margin that’s going to tighten the nickel trade,” said analyst Daniel Morgan at UBS in Sydney.

“If the price was to sustain the current level for a bit longer, you’re going to see downstream users... start to restock. If you see a restock this could feed on itself and be the next leg for nickel’s recovery.”

Morgan sees prices steady to higher from current levels.

London Metal Exchange nickel jumped 2.4 percent to $10,285 a tonne by 0729 GMT. Prices have sprung back by more than a third from 13-year lows plumbed in February. SHFE nickel surged 3.8 percent.

Goldman Sachs hiked its nickel price forecasts by 29 percent to $11,000 for three months out, and for zinc by 15 percent, as it boosted price expectations for the next year.

Adding to the lift on Tuesday, some China steel mills were ordered to cut output which sent China steel futures up more than 3 percent at one point and and iron ore futures limit up.

Baosteel Group, China’s second-biggest steelmaker, also plans to cut its crude steelmaking capacity over the next two years as part of its efforts to push through supply-side reform, it said on its website on Tuesday.

Among other metals, LME copper climbed by 1.1 percent to $4,802 a tonne, adding to a 0.8 percent gain from the previous session.

Shanghai Futures Exchange copper climbed 1 percent to 37,180 yuan ($5,559) a tonne.

Metals have heated up on expectations China may roll out fresh stimulus measures to counteract uncertainty in some of its export markets.

China’s economic growth likely cooled to a fresh seven-year low of 6.6 percent in the second quarter as the industrial sector lost steam and a boost from financial services faded, according to a Reuters poll of 61 economists.


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 = 6.6880 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Richard Pullin)

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