April 13, 2017 / 6:16 AM / 9 months ago

METALS-London copper climbs as China trade brightens, imports jump

 (Updates prices)
    By Melanie Burton
    MELBOURNE, April 13 (Reuters) - London copper rose from its
lowest in three months on Thursday after upbeat China trade data
for March, and as traders closed positions ahead of the long
Easter holiday weekend.    
    China's 2017 export outlook brightened considerably on
Thursday as it reported forecast-beating trade growth in March
and U.S. President Donald Trump softened his anti-China rhetoric
in an abrupt policy shift.  
    "Now that the Easter break is about to start and the LME
will be shut for four days many Asian traders will have squared
up positions. The markets will have also taken comfort from the
positive Chinese data," said Kingdom Futures in a report.
    "(Still) with premiums still easing ...all eyes (are) on
China for signs of the much talked about buying." 
    * LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper rose 1.4
percent to $5,709 a tonne by 0734 GMT, paring losses from the
previous session when prices fell more than 2 percent to their
lowest since Jan. 10.    
    * HOLIDAYS: The LME will be closed on Friday and Monday for
the Easter break. 
    * SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper cut
early losses to trade down 0.3 percent at 46,480 yuan ($6,753) 
a tonne. ShFE zinc rose 2 percent. 
   * TRUMP: President Trump said on Wednesday that his
administration will not label China a currency manipulator,
backing away from a campaign promise, even as he said the dollar
was "getting too strong" and would eventually hurt the economy.

    * COPPER: China's imports of copper rose 26.5 percent from
month ago to 430,000 tonnes in March, data from the General
Administration of Customs showed.
    * ALUMINIUM: China exported 410,000 tonnes of unwrought
aluminium and aluminium products, up from February's 260,000
tonnes. China's aluminium makers have stepped up exports as a
healthier global manufacturing climate and declining world
stockpiles boost demand.
   * CHINA ECONOMY: China's economy likely grew by a solid 6.8
percent in the first quarter, the same pace as the previous
quarter, due to sustained government infrastructure spending and
a gravity-defying housing market.
    * China's central bank has been quietly boosting its policy
independence and regulatory reach as it seeks to contain risks
to the financial system, policy insiders said, to help ensure
stability ahead of a five-yearly leadership team transition this
    * Losses amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars appear
to be pushing the Indonesian government and mining giant
Freeport McMoRan to resolve a row that has crippled
operations at Grasberg, the world's richest copper mine, for
three months.
    *  Chile, the world's biggest copper producer, faced a fresh
threat of labour action in the sector on Wednesday when a union
at the large Chuquicamata mine said it had blocked access as a
"warning" over planned changes to job opportunities.
    * The global zinc market moved into a surplus of 19,800
tonnes in February from a deficit of 22,300 tonnes in January,
data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG)
showed on Wednesday.    
 BASE METALS PRICES                                   
 Three month LME copper                         5707.5
 Most active ShFE copper                         46480
 Three month LME aluminium                        1912
 Most active ShFE                                   24
 Three month LME zinc                           2612.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                           21720
 Three month LME lead                           2259.5
 Most active ShFE lead                               4
 Three month LME nickel                           9765
 Most active ShFE nickel                            19
 Three month LME tin                             19840
 Most active ShFE tin                                2
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                                
 LME/SHFE COPPER            LMESHFCUc3          700.08

($1 = 6.8827 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Christian Schmollinger
and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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