Nickel prices dropped on profit booking after prices rallied in last session after China cut duties - 20 Dec 2017

Commodity Intraday Tips
Gold Prices Gain Slightly In Asia As US Tax Cuts Hit Slight Snag.
Gold prices gained in Asia on Wednesday after snag in passage of US tax cuts linked to a procedural issue in the Senate kept markets on edge even as most analysts say the bill will still pass this week. Overnight, gold prices edged lower on Tuesday weighed by a rally in Treasuries on growing optimism surrounding the outcome of the tax bill vote, and solid housing data pointing to underlying economic strength. Despite the weaker dollar, a rebound in US Treasuries following stronger-than-expected housing data, limited gains in the precious metal. Gold prices have added to recent gains after notching a two-week winning streak last week despite data showing traders continued to abandon their bullish bets on the yellow metal. 

SMM Analysis: Zinc oxide output hit by natural gas shortage. 
The operating rate of zinc oxide plants across China has dropped to an average of 53.8% in November, from 57.9% in October, according to SMM research. Output in major zinc oxide producing provinces including Shandong, Hebei and Jiangsu have been limited due to short supply of natural gas. This followed the nationwide gas rationing measures in the winter season due to rising consumption and logistics difficulties. Better auto sales toward the year-end have not helped much for the production of zinc oxide. 

Nickel prices dropped on profit booking after prices rallied in last session after China cut duties on some steel Spices exports. 
Nickel on MCX settled down -0.42% at 752.20 eased as traders booked profits on a rally to three-week peaks the session before that was fuelled by changes to China's steel export duties. While on Monday prices rallied through the 100-day moving average on Monday after China cut duties on some steel exports, pushing investors to close short positions ahead of the holiday. While sentiments remain firm for prices after the World Bank report that raised its forecast for China's economic growth in 2017 to 6.8 percent from 6.7 percent it projected in October, as personal consumption and foreign trade supported growth. 

Oil edges up on North Sea pipeline outage, lower U.S. crude stocks.
Oil prices inched up on Wednesday, supported by expectations of a fall in U.S. crude inventories and by the ongoing outage of the North Sea Forties pipeline system. "Oil prices inched higher on expectations of another strong drawdown in U.S. inventories," ANZ bank said. Oil prices have also been supported by the continuing outage of the Forties pipeline in the North Sea, which delivers crude underpinning Brent futures. Operator Ineos hopes to be able to fix a crack in the pipeline, which can pump around 450,000 barrels per day of crude, within two to four weeks from Dec. 11. Most analysts expect U.S. output to break through 10 million bpd soon, which would be a new record and take it to levels on par with top exporter Saudi Arabia and close to top producer Russia, which pumps around 11 million bpd.

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