March 29, 2019 / 4:21 AM / 3 months ago

METALS-Most base metals rise on trade talk hopes, low supply

(Adds quotes, updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, March 29 (Reuters) - Most base metals advanced on Friday, with London copper heading for its first quarterly gain since the end of 2017, as hopes of progress in U.S.-China trade talks and low inventories in some metals lent support.

“Market for a while now obviously has some concerns about economic growth. Those concerns are probably a little bit overdone, so I suspect this is a bit of a recovery from that reaction earlier in the week,” said ANZ’s Daniel Hynes.

“But certainly outside of that there’s still an ongoing supply issue in the market. Inventories across many of the metals remain very low, so I think the market is mindful whilst demand could be weak.”

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.6 percent to $6,399 a tonne by 0356 GMT, while the most active copper contract in Shanghai advanced 1 percent to 48,820 yuan ($7,260.99) a tonne.

* COPPER IN PERU: Protests at Las Bambas in Peru showed no sign of abating, days after the mine’s operator, China’s MMG , warned it could declare force majeure on contracts.

* COPPER STOCKS: Stockpiles of copper in LME-registered warehouses, meanwhile, are slipping back towards 11-year lows below 120,000 tonnes hit earlier this month, but inventories in Shanghai Futures Exchange warehouses were sharply higher. MCUSTX-TOTAL CU-STX-SGH

* CHINA DEMAND: A Reuters poll showed factory activity likely contracted for a fourth straight month in March, suggesting weaker Chinese demand for raw materials.

* OTHER METALS: Aluminium rose 0.5 percent in London and 0.1 percent in Shanghai. All other base metals except Shanghai nickel and lead rose in both exchanges.

* CHALCO: Aluminum Corp of China Ltd posted its first quarterly loss in more than three years on low aluminium prices and weak demand. But its 2018 aluminium output grew 16 percent, beating Russia’s Rusal to become the world’s second-biggest publicly traded producer of the metal.

* TRADE TALKS: U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he had a “productive working dinner” the previous night in Beijing, kicking off a day of talks aimed at resolving the bitter trade dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

* CODELCO: State-owned Chilean miner Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, expects output at its El Teniente mine to rise to more than 500,000 tonnes per year by 2025.

* COPPER TC/RC: China’s top copper smelters on Thursday lowered their floor treatment and refining charges (TC/RC) for the second quarter of 2019 by more than 20 percent, indicating a tighter copper concentrate market.

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 = 6.7236 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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