Shanghai nickel hits record high on low stocks, strong demand

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Nickel prices jumped to a record high in Shanghai and surpassed a seven-year high in London on Friday, boosted by robust demand and dwindling inventories.

The most-traded October nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced as much as 4.1% to 155,140 yuan ($24,065.40) a tonne.

Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange hit $20,705 a tonne, its highest since May 2014, before easing to trade at $20,550 a tonne, still up 1.8% at 0350 GMT.

ShFE nickel inventories were last at 5,950 tonnes, hovering near a record low of 4,455 tonnes hit in August, while LME nickel stocks fell to their lowest since January 2020 at 181,368 tonnes.

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FUNDAMENTALS

* LME aluminum hits its highest since August 2008 at $2,886.50 a tonne and ShFE aluminum increased as much as 2.8% to 22,870 yuan a tonne, a level unseen since March 2008, on supply worries in China and Guinea.

* LME copper increased 1.2% to $9,499 a tonne, LME tin advanced 1.1% to $33,665 a tonne, ShFE copper rose 1.7% to 69,980 yuan a tonne, and ShFE tin hit a record high of 256,960 yuan a tonne.

* China’s major copper smelters lifted August refined cathode output by 2.7% from the prior month, encouraged by higher treatment charges and rising prices for byproduct sulphuric acid, state-backed research house Antaike said on Thursday.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares rallied after two days of losses, but were still in a nervous mood as global investors grapple with how best to interpret central banks’ cautious moves to end stimulus, which also left currency markets quiet.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0600 UK GDP Est 3M/3M July

0600 UK Estimate MM, YY July

0600 UK Manufacturing Output MM July

0600 Germany HICP Final YY Aug

($1 = 6.4466 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Devika Syamnath)