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SINGAPORE, Oct 29 (Reuters) - Nickel prices rose on Tuesday after some miners from top producer Indonesia said they would stop exports of nickel ore, sparking fears of supply shortage.
The miners on Monday agreed to stop nickel ore exports immediately, two months earlier than a nation-wide nickel ore exports ban set to be imposed by the government from next year.
Benchmark nickel on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose as much as 2.2% to $17,000 a tonne, while the most active nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) hit a two-week high at 136,630 yuan ($19,356.53) a tonne.
LME nickel prices had risen as much as 76% as of September from the beginning of 2019 on supply shortage fear, but prices have been retreating since, as market participants think nickel is over-priced.
"Fundamentals are not looking great. China and U.S. manufacturing purchasing managers indices are definitely pointing in that direction," said a base metal trader, adding that $17,000 was a resistance for nickel prices last week.
* TECHNICALS: LME nickel is facing an immediate resistance level of $17,200 a tonne, a break above which could lead to a gain limited to $17,993, said Reuters commodities technicals analyst Wang Tao.
"Nickel failed to break resistance at $17,993 in September. It is expected to retrace further to $14,533," he said.
* NICKEL STOCKS: Refined LME nickel inventories <MNISTX-TOTAL> fell to their lowest since December 2008 at 70,650 tonnes, while ShFE nickel stocks <SNI-TOTAL-W> were at 24,646 tonnes, or around 80% lower than its 2016-peak.
* NICKEL SPREAD: The premium of LME nickel cash over the three-month contract <MNI0-3> returned to premium this week and was last at $26 a tonne, indicating tight nearby supplies.
* ZINC: ShFE zinc hit a nearly six-week high at $19,225 a tonne, tracking previous gains in London after on-warrant LME zinc stocks <MZNSTX-TOTAL> dropped to a record low of 33,000 tonnes.
* ZINC SPREAD: The premium of LME cash over three-month zinc contract <CMZN0-3> rose to $46.50 a tonne, its highest since September 30.
* ZINC BALANCE: Refined zinc is expected to be in a deficit of 178,000 tonnes in 2019 but likely to move into a surplus of 192,000 tonnes in 2020, the International Lead and Zinc Study Group said.
* TRADE TALKS: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday he expected to sign a significant part of the trade deal with China ahead of schedule.
* COPPER TC/RC: The copper treatment charge (TC) benchmark in 2020 is likely to fall at least 13% from this year to $60-70 a tonne due to tight ore supply, a Reuters survey showed.
* METALS OUTLOOK: Prices of copper and other industrial metals are expected to be capped next year as weak economic growth weighs on the market, a Reuters poll showed.
* PRICES: LME copper eased 0.2%, aluminum dipped 0.1% and lead fell 0.2%. ShFE copper declined 0.2%, aluminum decreased 0.4%, while lead fell 0.5%.
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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 = 7.0586 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Rashmi Aich)