May 16, 2018 / 7:42 AM / 7 days ago

METALS-Copper bouyed by upbeat Chinese data, capped by strong dollar

* LME/ShFE arb: bit.ly/2wZSAEz

* GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl (Updates prices, adds U.S data)

By Zandi Shabalala

LONDON, May 16 (Reuters) - Copper ended marginally higher on Wednesday after two losing sessions, with the uplift from encouraging Chinese home sales data capped by a stronger dollar.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange finished 0.2 percent up at $6,826 a tonne after falling by more than 1 percent on Tuesday. Copper, used in power and construction, is down 1.8 percent this week.

“We have had some decent data from Chinese new home sales, which showed the strongest growth for about six months, and that’s pretty positive,” said ING analyst Oliver Nugent.

“For the most part, the likes of copper are bouncing from the sell-off yesterday, but (it’s) very sideways trading.”

CHINA: New home prices rose in April with an increasing number of smaller Chinese cities driving broader growth, pointing to resilience in a key industry for industrial metals.

U.S. DATA: Industrial output in the United States rose in April, helped by an acceleration in manufacturing and mining, indicating that the economy was gathering momentum.

DOLLAR: The dollar index added 0.3 percent to trade at its highest in 2018, capping gains in commodities priced in the U.S. currency.

NORTH KOREA: Next month’s summit between Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump was thrown into doubt on Wednesday as North Korea denounced U.S.-South Korean military exercises as a provocation and called off high-level talks with Seoul, weighing on risk sentiment.

INVENTORIES: Headline copper stocks in LME-approved warehouses sit at 290,825 tonnes after a drop of 525 tonnes. This is slightly higher than the January low touched last week. MCUSTX-TOTAL

ALUMINIUM STOCKS: Aluminium stocks held at three major Japanese ports AL-STK-JPPRT rose about 9 percent month on month in April to 267,100 tonnes, trading house Marubeni Corp said on Wednesday.

RUSAL INSIGHT: On April 23 the U.S. Treasury eased restrictions on billionaire Oleg Deripaska’s aluminium company Rusal. Instead of barring Rusal from international markets, which is what the United States originally intended, the Treasury suggested it might lift the sanctions altogether.

U.S.-CHINA TRADE: The United States is seeking a trade deal with China, White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said as bilateral talks between the world’s two economic powerhouses resume in Washington this week.

BAUXITE: Operations at Societe Miniere de Boke’s bauxite mine in Guinea have restarted after nearly two weeks of strike action halted production of the aluminium ore, the company’s managing director said on Wednesday.

OTHER METALS: LME aluminium ended 0.4 percent down at $2,316 a tonne, while lead fell 0.3 percent to $2,341, zinc added 0.4 percent to $3,075, tin lost 0.7 percent to $20,725 and nickel added 0.4 percent to $14,475.

Additional reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr Editing by Jon Boyle and David Goodman

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