December 17, 2018 / 5:32 AM / 6 months ago

METALS-Base metals edge higher ahead of Xi speech, Fed meeting

 (Adds Shanghai closing prices, updates London prices)
    MELBOURNE/BEIJING, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Most base metals rose
on Monday, starting the week with cautious optimism that China
and the United States will be able to resolve a trade row that
has weighed on prices for most of this year, although weak
economic indicators capped gains.
    China's retail sales grew at their weakest pace since 2003
and its industrial output rose the least in nearly three years,
according to official data released last week.
    Investors are now focusing on a speech by Chinese President
Xi Jinping to mark the 40th anniversary of China's reform and
opening up on Tuesday, after which a two-day Federal Open Market
Committee meeting begins in the United States.
    In the short run, copper prices will take their cue from the
Fed meeting and China's upcoming Central Economic Work
Conference, brokerage Jinrui Futures wrote in a note.
    But it cautioned: "The release of any macro good news will
only bring about a short-term spike and won't form a sustained
rising market."

    * COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
 inched up 0.1 percent to $6,139.50 a tonne as of 0715
GMT. The most-traded February copper contract on the Shanghai
Futures Exchange closed up 0.2 percent at 49,230 yuan 
($7,137.27) a tonne. 
    * TRADE: China will temporarily suspend additional 25
percent tariffs on U.S.-made vehicles and auto parts starting
Jan. 1, 2019, the finance ministry said on Friday, following a
truce in a trade war between the world's two largest economies.

    * VEDANTA: An Indian environment court set aside on Saturday
the Tamil Nadu state government's order to close Vedanta's
 copper smelter plant permanently, taking the company
closer to reopening its facility in southern India.
    * OTHER METALS: Shanghai nickel, the top performer,
rose as much as 2 pct to 91,040 yuan a tonne, its highest since
Dec. 6, before closing up 1.9 percent, while Shanghai zinc
 added 1.5 percent. 
    * USD: The dollar held near a 19-month high, bolstered by
safe-haven buying as heightened concerns of a global economic
slowdown reduced appetite for riskier assets such as stocks and
Asian currencies.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    * Asian share markets ticked up as investors cautiously
looked to whether key policy events in the United States and
China could allay concerns about slowing global economic growth.
 BASE METALS PRICES                       0719 GMT
 Three month LME copper                       6138
 Most active ShFE copper                     49230
 Three month LME aluminium                  1925.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                  13645
 Three month LME zinc                         2563
 Most active ShFE zinc                       21140
 Three month LME lead                         1956
 Most active ShFE lead                       18365
 Three month LME nickel                      11070
 Most active ShFE nickel                     90900
 Three month LME tin                         19395
 Most active ShFE tin                       146800
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                            
 LME/SHFE COPPER             LMESHFCUc3     153.81
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM          LMESHFALc3   -1657.16
 LME/SHFE ZINC               LMESHFZNc3     189.88
 LME/SHFE LEAD               LMESHFPBc3    1578.16
 LME/SHFE NICKEL             LMESHFNIc3     1236.9
($1 = 6.8976 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton in MELBOURNE and Tom Daly in
BEIJING; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Subhranshu Sahu)
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