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METALS-Shanghai nickel rises on stronger prices for steel

SYDNEY, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Chinese metals futures were mixed in early trading on Tuesday, with nickel leading gainers on the back of stronger steel prices.

UBS bank has upgraded its electric vehicle forecasts, which it said has led to 3-4 percent increase in its 2020-2021 nickel price outlook. The metal is widely used in batteries for electric cars.

But UBS warned that in the meantime a "vast inventory pile of metal and ore means that it will be difficult to see nickel prices above marginal mining costs of $6 per pound ($13,230 a tonne)."

FUNDAMENTALS

* SHANGHAI NICKEL: The most-traded nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange had gained 0.52 percent to 91,940 yuan ($13,891.37) a tonne by 0145 GMT .

* LONDON NICKEL: Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange slipped modestly to $13,355 a tonne, reversing a modest overnight gain.

* ELECTRIC CARS: ANZ bank said that a Bloomberg report that China was on the verge of extending rebates on electric vehicles was spurring positive sentiment for nickel.

* STEEL FUTURES UP: The most active rebar on the ShFE was 0.8-percent higher, after hitting its strongest since Sept. 6 in the previous session.

* ZINC SEIZED: Customs in China's eastern port city of Qingdao seized 1,762 tonnes of smuggled zinc waste last week in the country's campaign against the import of "foreign garbage".

* DOLLAR HOLDS GAINS: The dollar held on to modest gains against its peers on Tuesday, with its rise made at the week's start slowing as the market awaited the next phase of the U.S. tax reform saga for cues.

* GUINEA ALUMINA : A consortium of the Societe Miniere de Boke (SMB) and Singapore's Winning Shipping plans to build Guinea's first alumina refinery in a $3 billion effort to develop the West African country's bauxite industry.

* SHFE COPPER, ALUMINIUM: ShFE copper gained 0.06 percent, while aluminium slipped by 0.44 percent.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares were subdued on Tuesday as investors' rotation out of technology shares took the toll on some of the region's tech heavyweights although hopes of a major tax cut in the United States underpinned risk sentiment.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0145 China Caixin services PMI Nov 0850 France Markit services PMI Nov 0855 Germany Markit services PMI Nov 0900 Euro zone Markit services PMI final Nov 1000 Euro zone Retail sales

Oct

1330 U.S. International trade Oct 1500 U.S. ISM non-manufacturing PMI Nov

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 = 6.6185 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Joseph Radford)