August 6, 2019 / 4:42 AM / 3 months ago

METALS-Base metals advance as trade worries weaken U.S. dollar

(Updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, Aug 6 (Reuters) - London base metals rose on Tuesday, as the U.S. dollar weakened after Washington labelled Beijing a currency manipulator, marking a sharp escalation in the year-long trade dispute between the two economies.

A weaker dollar makes greenback-denominated metals cheaper for users of other currencies.

However, gains were capped as rising tensions between the United States and China threatened global economic growth and demand for metals.

The U.S. Treasury Department said on Monday it had determined for the first time since 1994 that China was manipulating its currency, knocking the U.S. dollar sharply lower and sending China’s offshore yuan to a record low.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.1% at $5,691 a tonne, as of 0704 GMT, reversing a five-day losing streak, while Shanghai copper edged up 0.4% to 46,150 yuan ($6,565.75) a tonne.

“In August, we see prices trading between $5,520-$5,950; as we head deeper into the mid-5’s,” said INTL FCStone’s independent commodity consultant Edward Meir in a note.

FUNDAMENTALS

* PRICES: London aluminium edged up 0.1%, nickel rose 0.2% and zinc advanced 0.8%. In Shanghai, aluminium rose 0.3%, nickel jumped 2.2%, while zinc increased 0.3%.

* NICKEL: A top Indonesian mining ministry official said on Monday he did not want to speculate on whether the government might bring forward a planned ban on mineral ore exports from 2022.

* LEAD: Supply disruptions and historically low inventories are unlikely to mean shortages of the auto battery metal lead due to sliding demand in top consumer China, where growth is under pressure because of the U.S.-China trade dispute.

* COPPER: Proposed U.S. tariffs against the European Union over aircraft subsidies could concentrate market control over some supplies of copper alloy in the hands of a German-owned firm and hurt American businesses, U.S. industry players said.

* LYNAS: Malaysia plans to extend Lynas Corp’s licence to operate a rare earths processing plant, though it could be for a shorter duration than the usual three years, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

* BHP/NICKEL: BHP Group is expanding its nickel business and plans to ramp up sales for the fast-growing electric vehicle sector, Asset President Eddie Haegel said on Monday.

* RUSAL: Russian aluminium producer Rusal suspended operations at its Achinsk alumina plant on Monday and evacuated all but essential staff after a fire broke out a nearby Russian military base, Rusal said.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or

PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin

ARBS ($1 = 7.0289 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Rashmi Aich, Sherry Jacob-Phillips & Uttaresh.V)

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