May 15, 2019 / 2:21 AM / 8 days ago

METALS-Copper rises on U.S.-China trade talk hopes

SINGAPORE, May 15 (Reuters) - Copper and most other base metals rose on Wednesday, after U.S. President Donald Trump insisted that trade talks with China had not collapsed.

Trump on Tuesday called the trade war with China “a little squabble” and softened his tone in a series of remarks expressing optimism about reaching a trade deal with Beijing, While a Beijing senior diplomat also confirmed that the two countries would “pursue relevant discussions”.

Base metals rallied on Tuesday from a recent sell off, as signs emerged that the two countries might continue their trade talks, but some remained cautious over the outlook for metals.

“Even with Trump’s words soothing markets for the moment, we suspect copper and the rest of the base metals sector will struggle while the trade conflict remains unresolved, even though fundamentals remains positive,” ANZ said in a note.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.6% to $6,060 a tonne by 0155 GMT, while nickel advanced 0.6% and zinc climbed 1%. However, aluminium fell 0.2% and tin slipped 0.5%.

* All base metals on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose, following a strong rally session overnight in London. Shanghai copper rose 0.3% percent to 47,650 yuan ($6,938.88) a tonne, while aluminium advanced 1%.

* Global miner BHP will hold on to the Australian nickel operations it previously put up for sale, while Rio Tinto, is working on copper and lithium projects as the mining industry bets on demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.

* Barrick Gold Corp, the world’s second largest bullion miner, is preparing its Zambian copper mine Lumwana for sale in the second half of 2019, looking to target Chinese buyers, three sources with knowledge of the matter said.

* U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday moved closer to developing a national electric vehicle supply chain policy, with senators voicing bipartisan support for legislation designed to parry China’s dominance in metals and battery production.

* The U.S. has again decided not to impose tariffs on rare earths and other critical minerals from China, underscoring its reliance on the Asian nation for a group of materials used in everything from consumer electronics to military equipment.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or

MARKETS NEWS

* Asian stocks struggled near a 3-1/2-month low on lingering concerns over the economic impact of a U.S.-China trade war, although an overnight bounce on Wall Street helped limit the losses.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0130 Australia Wage Price Index QQ YY Q1

0200 China Urban Investment (ytd) YY April

0200 China Industrial Output YY April

0200 China Retail Sales YY April

0200 Indonesia Trade Balance (Bln of $) April

0600 Germany GDP Flash QQ SA Q1

0600 Germany GDP Flash YY NSA Q1

0645 France CPI (EU Norm) Final MM YY April

0900 EU GDP Flash Estimate QQ YY Q1

1000 EU Reserve Assets Total April

1230 US Retail Sales MM April

1315 US Industrial Production MM April

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 = 6.8671 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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