Aug 25 (Reuters) - Nickel prices in Shanghai and London rose
on Tuesday to their highest since November, helped by falling
ore inventories at Chinese ports and hopes of improving demand.
The most traded November contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange gained as much as 1.7% to 118,210 yuan
($17,102.14) a tonne before closing 1% up at 117,420 yuan.
Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange (LME)
edged down 0.1% to $14,905 a tonne after touching its
highest since November at $14,965.
"Recently nickel laterite ore prices have been continuously
rising amid declining inventories at Chinese ports. Stainless
steel margins have also improved recently, which should be
supportive for nickel demand," ING analysts said in a note.
The stainless steel sector is the major consumer of nickel.
"However, not helping the bull case is that stainless steel
inventories are still high, whilst Indonesian supply is also
adding pressure with newly-commissioned capacity," ING added.
Indonesia is the world's biggest nickel ore producer and a
production hub for nickel pig iron and stainless steel.
* Philippine nickel ore prices <SMM-NIC-NLOLYGP> hovered
around their highest since November at $10.25 a tonne.
* LME zinc rose 1.1% to $2,472.50 a tonne and tin
added 0.5% to $17,395. In Shanghai, zinc firmed
by 0.3% to 19,840 while lead eased by 0.1% to 15,895
* The global refined copper market showed a 1,000-tonne
surplus over the January-May period, compared with a deficit of
270,000 tonnes in the first five months of 2019, the
International Copper Study Group said.
* Top U.S. and Chinese officials in telephone talks saw
progress on resolving issues over the Phase 1 trade deal reached
in January and both sides are committed to the success of the
agreement, the U.S. Trade Representative's Office said.
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($1 = 6.9120 yuan)
(Reporting by Mai Nguyen
Editing by David Goodman)