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METALS-Nickel rally resumes amid Indonesia ore ban fears

BEIJING, Aug 12 (Reuters) - London nickel prices rose sharply in volatile Asian trade early on Monday as speculation continued that key producer Indonesia is about to bring forward a ban on mineral ore exports that was previously set to start in 2022. The metal used to make stainless steel hit a 16-month high last Thursday before shedding 2.1% on Friday. Jakarta is discussing bringing forward the ban but no decision has been made on such a move, Indonesia's trade minister, Enggartiasto Lukita, said on Friday.

FUNDAMENTALS

* NICKEL: Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 3.8% to $16,145 a tonne and stood at $16,125 a tonne as of 0149 GMT, below the 16-month high of $16,690 struck last Thursday. The most-traded October nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange edged down 0.1% to 125,810 yuan ($17,816.83) a tonne.

* VOLUMES: Trading volumes in the October ShFE nickel contract had surged past 1 million lots by 0130 GMT, already surpassing the 30-day average for a full day's trade.

* COLUMN: Indonesian supply fears stoke brutal LME nickel battle: Andy Home

* OTHER METALS: Lead was the second-biggest gainer in the LME complex, adding 1.6% to a two-week high of $2,100 a tonne, while copper was flat at $5,755 a tonne and tin shed 0.7%. ShFE zinc slipped 1.2% and tin fell 1.6%.

* COPPER: Peru on Friday suspended a recently issued construction permit for Southern Copper's Tia Maria mine, a project that has triggered violent protests by nearby residents.

ARIZONA: Rio Tinto on Friday said it had moved a step closer to the development of a new copper project in Arizona, one of the few new major known deposits of the metal, with the potential to meet around a quarter of U.S. demand.

* MOLY: Fresh from closing a $518 million acquisition, metals firm China Molybdenum Co remains open to deals that would boost business in the booming electric vehicle battery sector, the company's chief executive said on Friday.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares fell, while gold prices held firm as investors worried a prolonged Sino-U.S. trade war could tip the world and U.S. economies into recession.

PRICES

BASE METALS PRICES 0151 GMTThree month LME copper 5755Most active ShFE copper 46610Three month LME aluminum 1778Most active ShFE aluminum 13965Three month LME zinc 2240.5Most active ShFE zinc 18405Three month LME lead 2093.5Most active ShFE lead 16955Three month LME nickel 15900Most active ShFE nickel 124870Three month LME tin 16790Most active ShFE tin 133230

($1 = 7.0613 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Richard Pullin)