BEIJING, May 25 (Reuters) - Most base metals rose on Friday,
led by nickel in Shanghai as investors bet that demand for the
metal would increase in line with China's electric vehicle (EV)
    The most traded July nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange rose as much as 3.4 percent to 111,660 yuan ($17,483) a
tonne, its highest since June 2015, while nickel on the London
Metal Exchange slipped 0.1 percent after a 1.7 percent jump on
    Guy Wolf, global head of market analytics at Marex Spectron
in Singapore, said the market was being driven by consumers
looking to store the metal in anticipation of a rise in prices,
even though increased demand from the EV battery sector remains
a long way off. 
    If traders "decide that they want to accumulate two years'
worth of inventory of nickel, it actually doesn't matter what
the end market is doing," Wolf said.      
    * NICKEL: Shanghai nickel cut its gains to 2.2
percent by the mid-session interval, standing at 110,370 yuan a
tonne. LME nickel was down 0.1 percent at $14,885 a
    * COPPER: London copper rose 0.1 percent to $6,887 a tonne
by 0513 GMT, as traders weighed the potential closure of a major
smelter in India. Shanghai copper climbed 0.5 percent
to 51,580 yuan a tonne.
    * COPPER: India's Tamil Nadu state said on Thursday that it
was seeking a permanent closure of a big copper smelter run by
London-listed Vedanta Resources after 13 people died in
protests demanding the closure of the plant on environmental
    * INDIA: "Now it has become a bit more serious, and has
taken more of a political dimension," said a trader. "I haven't
seen any change to premiums yet but I'd imagine the downstream
sector such as for copper rod will start to get tight."
    * LEAD: Lead fell 0.4 percent to $2,485 in London,
but is up 6.7 percent so far this week on dwindling stocks and a
crackdown on recycling capacity in China. The metal is on course
for its best week since January 2017. Shanghai lead
added another 0.8 percent, and is up 9.6 percent in May.
    * RUSAL: Russian aluminium producer Rusal has
asked the Russian government to purchase some of its output, a
government source said on Thursday, in an effort to alleviate
the pain inflicted by U.S. sanctions.
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