Feb 29 (Reuters) - Nickel prices advanced on Thursday
and were on track for the first monthly rise since July last
year on worries about supply in Indonesia and Russia.
    Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange rose
0.5% to $17,685 per metric ton by 0339 GMT and was up 8.7% on a
monthly basis.
    The most-traded May nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange climbed 1.6% to 137,530 yuan ($19,115.46) a
ton. The contract is up 7.6% so far this month.
    Most of the gain came from last week's covering of bets on
lower prices triggered by fear that nickel would be included in
new Western sanctions against major producer Russia.
    However, the sanctions did not mention the metal. 
    Meanwhile, in top producer Indonesia, delays in approving
new mining quotas prompted smelters to slow operations and curb
    Nickel was the worst performer last year among all base
metals, falling by around 40%, due to softening demand and a
steady rise in Indonesia output.
    LME copper rose 0.5% on Thursday to $8,489 a metric
ton, aluminium advanced 0.2% to $2,195.50, zinc
edged up 0.1% to $2,418, while lead dipped 0.1% to
$2,080 and tin fell 0.5% to $26,425.
    SHFE copper was nearly flat at 68,860 yuan a metric
ton, zinc eased 0.1% to 20,585 yuan, while aluminium
 rose 0.1% to 18,845 yuan, lead advanced 0.1%
to 15,945 yuan and tin increased 0.6% to 217,890 yuan.
    All base metals except tin and nickel were set for a monthly
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 0745  France   GDP QQ Final                 Q4
 0745  France   CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY      Feb
 0745  France   Producer Prices YY           Jan
 0855  Germany  Unemployment Chg, rate SA    Feb
 1300  Germany  CPI, HICP Prelim YY Feb      Feb
 1330  US       Consumption, Adjusted MM     Jan 
 1330  US       Core PCE Price Index MM, YY  Jan
 1330  US       PCE Price Index MM, YY       Jan
 1330  US       Initial Jobless Clm          Weekly

($1 = 7.1947 yuan)

 (Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Eileen Soreng)