London nickel prices rose sharply in volatile Asian trade early on Monday as speculation continued that key producer Indonesia is about to bring forward a ban on mineral ore exports that was previously set to start in 2022.
The metal used to make stainless steel hit a 16-month high last Thursday before shedding 2.1 per cent on Friday.
Jakarta is discussing bringing forward the ban but no decision has been made on such a move, Indonesia's trade minister, Enggartiasto Lukita, said on Friday.
Three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 3.8% to $16,145 a tonne and stood at $16,125 a tonne as of 0149 GMT, below the 16-month high of $16,690 struck last Thursday. The most-traded October nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange edged down 0.1% to 125,810 yuan ($17,816.83) a tonne.