June 6, 2018 / 4:59 AM / in 5 months

METALS-Copper prices hit 3-month highs on Chile supply concerns

 (Adds Shanghai closing prices, updates London prices)
    BEIJING, June 6 (Reuters) - Base metals rose on Wednesday,
with copper and lead gaining ground on fears of a supply
squeeze, while nickel and zinc tracked the ferrous complex
higher after a blast at an iron ore mine in China and amid
falling inventories.
    The most-traded July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange rose for a fourth straight day, ending up 2
percent at 53,090 yuan ($8,309.20) a tonne, its highest close
since March 7, while London copper was up for a fifth session,
hitting its highest since late February.
    The gains came as concerns persisted over disruption at the
Escondida copper mine in Chile, the world's largest, where wage
talks are under way.
    However, signs of slowing downstream demand in China, the
world's top copper consumer, and the strength of dollar mean
copper "may continue to be range-bound with periodic upside
surprise on the newsflow of supply disruptions," Argonaut
Securities analyst Helen Lau wrote in a note.
    A stronger greenback makes dollar-denominated metals more
expensive for holders of other currencies. The dollar index
 was down 0.2 percent on Wednesday, supporting prices. 
        
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange rose as much as 0.8 percent to $7,158 a tonne,
its highest since Feb. 26, and stood at $7,135 a tonne at 0731
GMT.
    * ALUMINIUM: LME aluminium climbed as much as 1.4
percent to $2,345 a tonne, the highest since May 10, while
Shanghai aluminium closed up 1.6 percent at 14,885 yuan
a tonne.   
    * ALUMINIUM: China Hongqiao Group, the world's
biggest aluminium producer, said it signed a financing agreement
worth 30 billion yuan ($4.7 billion) with Industrial Bank Co Ltd
 as it looks to upgrade its manufacturing facilities.
    
    * LEAD/ZINC/NICKEL: Shanghai lead closed up 1.4
percent after hitting an 18-month high of 20,780 yuan a tonne
amid a crackdown on recycling in China, while zinc
ended up 1.9 percent and nickel finished 2 percent
higher.    
    * LITHIUM: Chilean lithium miner SQM,
has retained former chairman Julio Ponce as an adviser,
according to Chilean state development agency Corfo, despite an
agreement to distance himself from the firm to end a
long-running royalties dispute.
    For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
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    MARKETS NEWS    
    * Asian stocks rose on Wednesday after tech sector strength
lifted Wall Street shares while concerns about Italy's debt
prompted investors to move into lower-risk government debt
elsewhere, pushing U.S. Treasury yields down from recent highs.
    
        
    PRICES        
 BASE METALS PRICES                        0719 GMT
 Three month LME copper                        7145
 Most active ShFE copper                      53090
 Three month LME aluminium                   2337.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                   14885
 Three month LME zinc                        3207.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                        24635
 Three month LME lead                        2522.5
 Most active ShFE lead                        20675
 Three month LME nickel                       15765
 Most active ShFE nickel                     118760
 Three month LME tin                          20660
 Most active ShFE tin                        152690
                                                   
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                             
 LME/SHFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc3     120.96
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc3   -2451.54
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc3      89.91
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc3     545.54
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc3   -1091.74
 
($1 = 6.3893 Chinese yuan)

    
 (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
  
 
 
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