METALS-Shanghai nickel surges on China steel outlook

MELBOURNE, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Shanghai nickel jumped 4 percent on Monday, tracking a move in London after China said it would cut duties on some steel exports, which raised expectations for demand.


* Shanghai Futures Exchange nickel surged by more than 4 percent to its highest since Nov. 27, before settling at 93,310 yuan ($14,110) a tonne, a 3.7 percent advance. Prices rallied although open interest was steady, which suggests that short positions have been closed.

* London Metal Exchange nickel edged down 0.3 percent to 11,550 a tonne following a 3.8 percent rally on Friday.

* CHINA: China will cut export taxes on some steel products and fertilizers and ditch those for sales abroad of steel wire, rod and bars from Jan. 1, the Ministry of Finance said on Friday, in a series of measures that could boost shipments.

* DEFICIT: Helping to trim a glut of stockpiles in exchange, the global deficit for refined nickel widened to 65,700 tonnes in the first nine months of the year, from 47,400 tonnes, in the same period of 2016, data from the International Nickel Study Group showed.

* The news helped to push up steel-making raw materials prices. Dalian iron ore prices surged by 4.3 percent.

* COPPER: LME copper eased by 0.3 percent to $6,867 a tonne after 1.4 percent gains in the previous session when it topped out at $6,913 also the highest since late November. Shanghai Futures Exchange copper traded last at 52150 yuan ($7,886).

* COPPER INVESTORS: Hedge funds and money managers cut their net long position in COMEX copper contracts in the week to Dec. 12, the latest data showed.

* CHINA ECONOMY: New home prices in China extended another month of steady growth in November, after picking up slightly in October, shrugging off a range of government measures to rein in an overheated property market as price gains in smaller cities widened.

* JAPAN: Japan's export growth accelerated in November to mark a full year of annual gains, underscoring the strength of external demand that has led the economy to its second-longest run of postwar growth.

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* Shares gained worldwide on Friday and Wall Street notched closing record highs on U.S. tax legislation optimism, while the U.S. yield curve turned its flattest in a decade after the Federal Reserve hiked interest rates last week.

DATA AHEAD (GMT) 1000 Euro zone Eurostat trade Oct 1330 U.S. New York Fed manufacturing Dec 1415 U.S. Industrial production Nov PRICES

BASE METALS PRICES 0248 GMT Three month LME copper 6866 Most active ShFE copper 53430 Three month LME aluminum 2063 Most active ShFE 14490


Three month LME zinc 3193.5 Most active ShFE zinc 25435 Three month LME lead 2521 Most active ShFE lead 19255 Three month LME nickel 11560 Most active ShFE nickel 93330 Three month LME tin 19070 Most active ShFE tin 135580



($1 = 6.6130 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)