March 14, 2018 / 3:38 AM / in 2 years

METALS-London copper climbs on China data, but US tariff worries drag

 (Recasts, updates prices)
    By Melanie Burton
    MELBOURNE, March 14 (Reuters) - London copper prices climbed
on Wednesday on better-than-expected Chinese industrial
production figures for the start of the year, but concerns about
an escalation in U.S. trade tariffs capped gains.
     China's industrial output expanded faster than expected at
the start of the year, suggesting the world's second-biggest
economy has sustained solid momentum despite a crackdown on
polluting industries and a campaign to reduce risks in the
financial system.
    "On the face of it, (the China data) looked fairly positive
for me. The fixed asset investment was obviously much better
than expected and also the property investment as well," said
analyst Daniel Hynes of ANZ in Sydney. 
    "For the moment, this cloud around the trade issues is going
to weigh on sentiment."
    * LONDON COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper cut
early losses to trade up 0.7 percent at $6,990 a tonne by 0702
GMT, adding to a 0.5-percent gain in the previous session, when
prices edged up as the dollar fell. LME copper dipped to its
lowest in a month at $6,777 a tonne last week. 
    * SHANGHAI COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper
climbed by 0.8 percent to 52,330 yuan ($8,283) a tonne. 
    * U.S. TARIFFS: U.S. President Donald Trump is seeking to
impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese imports and will
target the technology and telecommunications sectors, two people
who had discussed the issue with the Trump administration said
on Tuesday. 
    * ALUMINIUM: China's aluminium production fell 1.8 percent
in January-February from a year earlier, data showed on
Wednesday, as the country's pollution crackdown and supply-side
reform kicked in even as new smelters are due to come onstream
this year. 
    * ALUMINIUM PREMIUMS: Tariffs on aluminium imports to the
United States that will begin from next week have boosted U.S.
aluminium premiums. Premiums have almost doubled to 19 cents per
pound from 10 cents in late January. 
    * DEMAND: Japan's core machinery orders rebounded in January
from a steep decline the previous month, handily beating
expectations in a sign that capital spending will continue
contributing to economic growth.
    * COPPER MINING: For years Rio Tinto has been the sole
international copper mine operator in Mongolia, bound closely to
a country where it has bet billions of dollars on the giant Oyu
Tolgoi project. That is changing as a bunch of smaller players
raise their exploration in the country.
    * COMING UP: Euro zone Industrial production Jan at 1000 GMT
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
 BASE METALS PRICES               0704 GMT             
 Three month LME copper                            6990
 Most active ShFE copper                          52320
 Three month LME aluminium                         2105
 Most active ShFE aluminium                       13955
 Three month LME zinc                              3288
 Most active ShFE zinc                            25195
 Three month LME lead                            2405.5
 Most active ShFE lead                            18535
 Three month LME nickel                           13895
 Most active ShFE nickel                         104850
 Three month LME tin                              21205
 Most active ShFE tin                            145170
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                                 
 LME/SHFE COPPER                LMESHFCUc3        953.2
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM             LMESHFALc3     -1478.17
 LME/SHFE ZINC                  LMESHFZNc3       535.59
 LME/SHFE LEAD                  LMESHFPBc3       -80.73
 LME/SHFE NICKEL                LMESHFNIc3       679.64

($1 = 6.3179 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Tom Hogue and Joseph
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