November 13, 2018 / 8:49 AM / a month ago

METALS-Copper rebounds amid U.S.-China trade optimism

(Adds analyst comment, updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, Nov 13 (Reuters) - London copper climbed nearly 2 percent on Tuesday and other metals edged higher, boosted by news that China’s top trade negotiator was preparing to visit the United States ahead of a meeting between the two countries’ leaders.

China’s top trade negotiator Liu He may visit Washington to prepare for the talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Argentina later this month, the South China Morning Post reported, citing sources from both sides.

Chinese equities climbed on the news, with Asian shares cutting losses as risk appetite improved.

“People still feel a lot of hope in what’s going to happen in late November between Trump and Xi,” said Dominic Schnider of UBS Wealth Management in Hong Kong.

The U.S. dollar also retreated and was trading slightly below a 16-month high versus a basket of peers.

A weaker U.S. dollar makes dollar-denominated assets such as commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 1.6 percent at $6,146 a tonne by 0804 GMT, after initially hitting a session low of $6,016. The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 0.2 percent at 49,100 yuan ($7,061) a tonne.

* CHINA COPPER MEETING: Metals traders are arriving in Shanghai for the annual Asia Copper Week event, gathering in China at a time when the outlook for demand in the world’s biggest consumer of the commodity is clouded by the Sino-U.S. trade war.

* ALUMINIUM: Shanghai aluminium ended down 0.3 percent at 13,825 yuan, after hitting a more than two-year low of 13,690 yuan. LME aluminium gained 0.4 percent to $1,949 a tonne, not far above a session low of $1,937 which matched Monday’s 15-month trough.

* NICKEL: London nickel rose 0.6 percent to $11,470, recovering from an 11-month low of $11,299 reached earlier in the day.

“Without the support from downstream demand and weakening stainless steel prices, nickel prices may need to decrease more before stabilizing around the cost of production level,” Argonaut Securities said in a note.

* CHINA DATA: Most base metals were trading in tight ranges for most of the Asian session as investors await Wednesday’s series of data from China including industrial output and retail sales for further clues on the economic health of the world’s top metals consumer.

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 = 6.9533 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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