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METALS-China nickel up on rosy EV outlook

SYDNEY, Nov 7 (Reuters) - Nickel helped lead most Chinese metals futures higher on Tuesday, building on hefty gains in the London market overnight. Nickel, more so than other metals, is attracting investment support amid expectations that demand from the burgeoning electric vehicles market will increasingly supplement traditional consumption from stainless steel producers.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-traded nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was up more than 1 percent at 102,860 yuan ($15,511.76) a tonne - just short of Monday's 1-year price peak.

Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange, however, retreated marginally to $12,907.50 a tonne by 0100 GMT, which traders linked to profit-taking after Monday's 1.5 percent gain.

The contract hit a high above $13,000 a tonne last week, its loftiest level since June 2015, and posted a nearly 10 percent weekly gain.

London-based Capital Economics, however, warned in a note that expectations of growing demand from battery manufacturers was overdone.

"It needs to be remembered that EV batteries account for just one to two percent of nickel output currently, whereas the stainless steel sector accounts for around 65 percent," Capital Economics said. "For now, trends in the stainless steel market will remain key to the outlook for nickel demand."

* CONGO COPPER: Copper production in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa's top producer of the metal, rose by 9.3 percent in the first nine months of this year, but soaring inflation remains a risk to the economy, the central bank warned on Monday.

* SLOVENIA METALS SALE: Slovenia's state-owned "bad bank" DUTB is seeking expressions of interest from potential buyers of a majority stake in metal products maker Mariborska Livarna Maribor (MLM), DUTB said on Monday.

* CHINA-U.S. TRADE ROW: China's Ministry of Commerce has asked the World Trade Organization (WTO) for consultations on a recent U.S. move to impose anti-dumping duties on imports of Chinese aluminium foil.

* DOLLAR DIP: The dollar sagged on Tuesday, knocked away from eight-month highs versus the yen, as Treasury yields slipped on uncertainty over whether the Republicans can pass their tax bill in a timely manner.

* OTHER METALS: LME copper was slightly firmer at $6,980 a tonne, adding to a 1.1 percent overnight gain.

Copper prices have climbed 7 percent this quarter and are eyeing a sixth straight quarter of growth.

* SHFE COPPER: ShFE copper was 0.72 percent higher.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares touched their highest in a decade on Tuesday, while oil prices edged down after surging to a more than two-year peak as Saudi Arabia's crown prince cracked down on corruption.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)

0700 Germany Industrial output Sep 0745 France Budget balance Sep 1000 Euro zone Retail sales Sep

1930 Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen gives acceptance

remarks at Washington event

PRICES

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

ARBS ($1 = 6.6311 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)