Nickel at 1-week low; copper slips

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    Nickel prices hit a one-week low on Tuesday after the benchmark Chinese futures contract for stainless steel, which uses the metal as a raw material, hit a five-month low as producers faced high input costs and sluggish demand, while copper also slipped.

    Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange dropped as much as 1.4 percent to $15,680 a ton, its lowest since Nov. 10.

    The most-traded February nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slid 3.1 percent to 116,110 yuan ($17,679.75) a ton, after five straight sessions of gains.

    “The extended weakness in the Chinese stainless steel market seems to be dragging on nickel sentiment,” said Wenyu Yao, senior commodities strategist at ING.