October 18, 2018 / 1:40 AM / a month ago

METALS-Copper steady as China sees economic pressure amid trade tensions

MANILA, Oct 18 (Reuters) - London copper steadied on Thursday, with investors opting for caution after Chinese Premier Le Keqiang said China’s economy faces increasing downward pressure amid an ongoing trade war with the United States.

Li, while on a trip to Europe, said Beijing is determined to cope with risks and challenges for the economy which he expects to grow within a reasonable range in the third quarter.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was flat at $6,220 a tonne by 0119 GMT, but down from this week’s high of $6,342. The most-traded December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained 0.4 percent to 50,280 yuan ($7,259) a tonne.

* FREEPORT: Indonesia’s state-owned miner Inalum is looking to finalise a $3.85 billion deal for majority control of the local unit of global mining giant Freeport McMoRan Inc in December.

* U.S. RATE HIKES: Federal Reserve policymakers are largely united on the need to raise borrowing costs further, minutes from their most recent policy meeting show, despite U.S. President Donald Trump’s view that interest rate hikes have already gone too far.

* DOLLAR: The dollar traded stronger versus its major peers after minutes from the Fed’s September meeting affirmed expectations that the central bank is likely to continue raising interest rates this year.

* ALCOA: Top U.S. aluminum producer Alcoa Corp reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit, as a series of supply hits boosted alumina prices.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0600 Germany Wholesale price index Sep

0830 UK Retail sales Sep

1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims

1230 U.S. Philly Fed business index Oct

1400 U.S. Leading index Sep

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 = 6.9263 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; editing by Richard Pullin

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