March 27, 2018 / 5:14 AM / 9 months ago

METALS-Base metals rise as trade war fears fade

 (Adds broker comment; updates prices)
    BEIJING, March 27 (Reuters) - Base metal prices climbed on
Tuesday, lifted by a rebound in equities on hopes that a trade
war between top metals consumer China and the United States may
be avoided. 
    Senior U.S. officials are asking China to cut tariffs on
imported cars, allow foreign majority ownership of financial
services firms and buy more U.S.-made semiconductors in
negotiations to avoid plans to slap tariffs on a host of Chinese
goods.
    "With headlines... becoming slightly less negative it seems
people have been encouraged to unwind the armageddon trade and
this is seeing short-covering across the board both West and in
Asia," broker Marex Spectron said in a note.
    Metals prices had fallen to multi-month lows last week after
U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to impose tariffs on
up to $60 billion of Chinese goods, and Beijing threatened to
respond.
      
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange rose 1.5 percent to $6,698.50 a tonne by 0710
GMT, having touched a low of $6,532 in the previous session, its
weakest since early December. 
    * SHFE COPPER: The most traded May contract on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) closed up 0.1 percent at 49,620
yuan ($7,938.56) a tonne.
    * USD: The U.S. dollar index was flat at 89.01,
having hit a five-week low against a basket of major currencies
late on Monday. A weaker dollar makes metals cheaper for holders
of other currencies, supporting prices.
    * CHILE: Workers at Antofagasta Plc's Los Pelambres
copper mine in Chile reached an agreement on a new labour
contract, defusing the risk of a strike, the union said on
Monday.
    * STRIKES: With several other key labour contracts up for
renewal, the "risk of copper supply disruptions due to strikes
is still high as workers demand higher wages while mining
companies are in austerity mode and strongly against locking in
higher fixed costs in perpetuity," Jefferies said.    
    * ALUMINIUM: Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro
 said it would release on April 9 conclusions from its
internal review and a review it ordered from green consultancy
SGW Services on spills that took place at its Alunorte alumina
refinery in Brazil.    
    * OTHER METALS: Zinc was trading 0.8 percent higher
in London and closed up 1.4 percent in Shanghai. Nickel
was the only base metal to fall in Shanghai, closing down 0.4
percent after customs data on Monday showed China's refined
nickel imports fell 7.9 percent in February.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
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    MARKETS NEWS    
    * Asian share markets sprang higher on Tuesday as reports of
behind-the-scenes talks between the United States and China
rekindled hopes that a damaging trade war could be averted, in
turn sapping life from the dollar and yen.
       
        
    PRICES    
 BASE METALS PRICES                      0710 GMT
 Three month LME copper                    6698.5
 Most active ShFE copper                    49620
 Three month LME aluminium                 2069.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                 13820
 Three month LME zinc                        3290
 Most active ShFE zinc                      24945
 Three month LME lead                        2398
 Most active ShFE lead                      18570
 Three month LME nickel                     13165
 Most active ShFE nickel                    97680
 Three month LME tin                        20870
 Most active ShFE tin                      141760
                                                 
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                           
 LME/SHFE COPPER             LMESHFCUc3    879.34
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM          LMESHFALc3  -1201.15
                                         
 LME/SHFE ZINC               LMESHFZNc3    522.07
 LME/SHFE LEAD               LMESHFPBc3    323.83
 LME/SHFE NICKEL             LMESHFNIc3    698.63
                                         
 
    
 (Reporting by Tom Daly
Editing by Biju Dwarakanath and Amrutha Gayathri)
  
 
 
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