April 4, 2018 / 5:12 AM / 2 years ago

METALS-Base metals fall as U.S-China trade row escalates

 (Adds Shanghai closing prices; updates London prices)
    BEIJING, April 4 (Reuters) - Base metals fell on Wednesday
after the United States announced fresh tariffs on 1,300 Chinese
products, including some metal products, escalating a trade row
with China, which has vowed to respond.
    China, the world's top metals consumer, saw the services
sector growth ease to a four-month low in March, according to
the private Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers' index
(PMI), while the country's central bank renewed a pledge to
crack down on the unregulated shadow banking sector.
    There is a view that "the passage of this money into
commodity markets for purely speculative purposes has or
certainly will be stopped and the removal of this liquidity will
more than likely increase volatility," Malcolm Freeman, CEO of
Kingdom Futures, wrote in a note.
    The Shanghai Futures Exchange will be closed from the
evening of Wednesday, April 4, for the tomb-sweeping holiday and
will re-open on Monday, April 9.  
    * SHFE COPPER: The most-traded May copper contract on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange closed down 0.2 percent at
50,280 yuan ($7,986.66) a tonne, after five straight sessions of
gains, as brokerages trimmed positions before the four-day
    * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange was down 0.2 percent at $6,781.50 a tonne after
four consecutive sessions of gains. 
    * TECHNICALS: LME copper looks neutral in a narrow range of
$6,770-$6,826 per tonne, and an escape could suggest a
direction, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.
    * OTHER METALS: Zinc, used to galvanise steel, led
the losses in the Shanghai base metals complex, closing down 1.1
percent at 24,620 yuan a tonne. Nickel fell 0.1
percent, aluminium shed 0.3 percent and lead
lost 0.7 percent. 
    * UNITED STATES: The Trump administration on Tuesday raised
the stakes in a growing trade showdown with China, announcing 25
percent tariffs on some 1,300 industrial technology, transport
and medical products to try to force changes in Beijing's
intellectual property practices.
    * TRADE: China's commerce ministry said on Wednesday it
"strongly condemns and firmly opposes" the proposed U.S. tariffs
following the Section 301 probe and will take counter measures,
according to the official Xinhua news agency.
    * CHILE: Caserones copper mine in Chile said on Tuesday that
it would temporarily shut down its copper concentrator in order
to replace a leaking pipe.
    * Asian share markets faltered on Wednesday as simmering
Sino-U.S. trade tensions overshadowed a bounce on Wall Street
and left investors reluctant to take positions in anything.
 BASE METALS PRICES                        0708 GMT
 Three month LME copper                      6781.5
 Most active ShFE copper                      50280
 Three month LME aluminium                   1990.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                   14005
 Three month LME zinc                          3259
 Most active ShFE zinc                        24620
 Three month LME lead                        2388.5
 Most active ShFE lead                        18630
 Three month LME nickel                       13450
 Most active ShFE nickel                     100340
 Three month LME tin                          21200
 Most active ShFE tin                        145250
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                             
 LME/SHFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc3     652.09
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc3    -517.75
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc3     190.11
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc3     168.31
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc3     448.85

($1 = 6.2955 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath and
Subhranshu Sahu)
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