SINGAPORE, Nov 22 (Reuters) - Copper prices were set to close higher for the first week in three on Friday, buoyed by an improving outlook for demand and a temporary shortfall in supply after the shutdown of a Philippine smelter.
* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had risen 0.33 percent to $7,043 a tonne by 0111 GMT, extending small gains from the previous session.
* Copper prices were recovering from three-month troughs touched on Tuesday at $6,910 a tonne, the lowest since August 7.
* The most-traded February copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained 1 percent to 50,610 yuan ($8,300) a tonne.
* China's importers of refined copper face a shortfall of about 30,000 tonnes this month and the next as a typhoon-hit Philippine smelter has delayed metal deliveries, supporting spot premiums near 4-year highs, traders said on Thursday.
* As the U.S. Federal Reserve nears a decision to pare its bond-buying programme, top policymakers on Thursday turned to a new monetary policy battlefront: a growing debate over how the Fed should signal the timing of eventual interest rate hikes.
* U.S. factory output rebounded this month but hiring remained sluggish, while business activity across the euro zone and at China's manufacturers slowed, surveys showed on Thursday.
* China's financial regulators are preparing new rules to crack down on explosive growth in complex interbank transactions used to evade lending restrictions, senior bankers who have seen drafts of the regulations told Reuters this week.
* The global nickel market surplus ballooned to 127,100 tonnes in the first nine months of the year, more than double the surplus in the same period last year, a monthly bulletin from the Lisbon-based International Nickel Study Group (INSG) showed.
* Nickel prices are the worst performing metal this week, down almost 3 percent and bringing year-to-date losses to more than 21 percent.
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* Japanese stocks look set to be big beneficiaries from gains on Wall Street and a slide in the yen on Friday, though other Asian markets might not fare so well as investors become resigned to an inevitable slowdown in U.S. stimulus.
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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
Three month LME tin
($1 = 6.0932 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Joseph Radford)