January 2, 2018 / 7:27 AM / 2 years ago

METALS-LME copper starts 2018 firmer on strong China demand

 (Updates prices)
    By James Regan
    SYDNEY, Jan 2 (Reuters) - London copper was pushed higher on
Tuesday on bets that demand in top consumer China will improve
in 2018, keeping prices near four-year highs at the start of
trading in the new year.
    China is the world's largest consumer of industrial metals
and accounts for nearly half of global copper demand. The metal
has been supported by Beijing's attack on polluting industries,
supply reforms and robust demand growth.
    * COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
        edged higher to $7,260 a tonne, as of 0713 GMT. The
contract ended 2017 with an annual 31 percent price gain,
reaching prices last seen in January 2014, after peaking at
$7,312.50 on Dec. 28, according to Reuters data. 
    * SHFE: The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai
Futures Exchange          closed 0.6 percent lower at         
55,250 yuan ($8,506.94) a tonne. 
    * COPPER TREATMENT CUT: China's copper smelters on Friday
lowered the floor for their treatment and refining charges
(TC/RCs) in the first quarter of 2018 by 8.4 percent, signalling
tighter supply of copper concentrate in the first three months
of the New Year.             
    * ALUMINIUM REFINERY GO-AHEAD: Guinea's government has
approved a more than $2.8 billion investment by Chinese company
TBEA Co Ltd             in a new bauxite mine, an aluminium
refinery and an aluminium smelter, the mines ministry said on
    * SAFETY WARNING: Shanghai has issued a warning on the
safety of metal products manufactured by scandal-hit Japanese
firm Kobe Steel Ltd          and strengthened scrutiny measures,
state-owned Xinhua News Agency reported, citing the city's
inspection body.            
    OTHER METALS: ShFE nickel          ended 2.36 percent higher
while tin          closed 1 percent higher. Zinc         
finished 0.76 percent higher, while aluminium          closed
down 0.33 percent.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    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                             

($1 = 6.4947 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Richard Pullin and Sherry
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