BEIJING: London nickel prices eased on Friday, slipping from a 16-month high struck in the previous session, after Indonesia's nickel miners association said it had urged the government not to bring forward a ban on mineral ore exports.

The association's Secretary General Meidy Katrin Lengkey said the group had “indirect" knowledge of a plan to revise the date of enforcement of the ban but told Jakarta to “be consistent with the 2022 deadline because people have invested money to build smelters."

Nickel is still on course to add 9.5% in London this week, which would be its best week since November 2017, on speculation the ban could be introduced as soon as this year.

Shanghai nickel, meanwhile, struck a record high overnight and was up more 5% in Thursday's daytime session.

Supply of stainless steel ingredient nickel pig iron on the Chinese spot market is “still relatively tight and some stainless steel plants have already locked in orders until the end of September," Huatai Futures said in a note.

FUNDAMENTALS

* NICKEL: Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 1.5%, and was down 0.3% at $15,830 a tonne, as of 0508 GMT. The metal jumped 12.7% to $16,690 a tonne on Thursday, matching an April 2018 high.

* NICKEL: The most-traded October nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was up 5.6% at 126,730 yuan ($17,974.10) a tonne by the end of the morning session, after hitting a record high of 127,180 yuan overnight.

* OPEN INTEREST: Market open interest in Shanghai nickel, a measure of liquidity, reached 803,652 lots on Thursday, the highest since June 2018.

* COPPER: Benchmark London copper slipped 0.4% to $5,773 a tonne, while Shanghai copper rose 0.6% to 46,640 yuan a tonne.

* PERU: Anti-mining protests in Peru have held up about $400 million in copper exports from some of the country's top mines and blocked supplies from reaching their operations for nearly three weeks, port operator Tisur said.

* ZAMBIA: Glencore's Mopani copper mines in Zambia has closed two shafts at its Nkana mine, a move that an opposition leader said had led to 1,400 job losses.

MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares caught the tail of a Wall Street rally, helped by China's better-than-expected export figures.

Copyright Reuters, 2019