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METALS-Shanghai nickel hits record high as waste spill spurs supply woes

SINGAPORE, Aug 30 (Reuters) - Shanghai nickel prices hit a record high on Friday, as a waste spill at a nickel plant in Papua New Guinea sparked fear of some supply shortage.

Shanghai Futures Exchange's (ShFE) most-traded nickel contract jumped as much as 2.6% to a record 130,100 yuan ($18,342.54) a tonne, while London nickel rose 0.2%, after hitting a three-week high in the previous session.

Metallurgical Corp of China's Ramu battery nickel processing plant is facing compensation claims and possibly closure after it spilled mine waste into a Papua New Guinea's bay, the head of the country's minerals authority said.

"The (Ramu) operation produces approximately 35,000 tonnes of nickel, equivalent to 23% of the metal held in London Metal Exchange inventories," said ANZ in a note.

FUNDAMENTALS

* NICKEL SPREAD: The premium for cash nickel over the three-month contract on the London Metal Exchange (LME) <MNI0-3> has spiked to a 10-year high of $99 a tonne, signaling tight nearby supply. One party holds 50% to 80% of available LME inventories. <0#LME-WHL>

* NICKEL STOCKS: Nickel inventories in LME-approved warehouses <MNISTX-TOTAL> have been increasing slightly in August, but are hovering around a six-year low level, while ShFE nickel stocks rose to their highest since June 2018 last week. <SNI-TOTAL-W>

* NICKEL/TIN: ShFE nickel on Friday surpassed tin prices for the first time since both contracts were launched in 2015, after LME nickel prices topped tin on Tuesday.

* CHINA: Factory activity in China is expected to have contracted for the fourth straight month in August, a Reuters poll showed, as the United States ratcheted up trade pressure and domestic demand remained sluggish.

* TRADE TALKS: The United States and China gave signs on Thursday that they will resume trade talks as the two economic superpowers discussed the next round of in-person negotiations in September.

* JIANGXI: China's Jiangxi Copper Co produced 749,300 tonnes of refined copper cathode in January-June, up 3.5% from a year earlier, and 102,000 tonnes of copper concentrate during the period, up 0.2% year-on-year.

* PRICES: LME copper eased 0.2%, aluminum rose 0.2%, lead fell 0.2% while Shanghai copper rose 0.3%, lead eased 0.1% and tin edged up 0.1%.

* ZINC: Zinc prices on both the LME and ShFE were on track for their fifth straight monthly fall, as the U.S.-China prolonged trade war weighed on demand outlook.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares rose as China struck a hopeful tone on trade with the United States but continued fears about a global growth slowdown, or even a recession, capped sharp rallies.

DATA/EVENTS AHEAD (GMT)

0600 UK Nationwide house price m/m Aug

0600 UK Nationwide house price y/y Aug

0645 France CPI (EU Norm) Prelim y/y Aug

0900 Euro zone HICP Flash y/y Aug

0900 Euro zone HICP-X F&E Flash y/y Aug

0900 Euro zone Unemployment Rate July

1200 India GDP Quarterly y/y Q1

1230 US Consumption, adjusted m/m July

1400 US U Mich Sentiment Final Aug

PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminum

Most active ShFE aluminum

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 = 7.0928 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Rashmi Aich)