March 29, 2017 / 2:09 AM / 3 years ago

METALS-London copper hits highest in more than a week, demand hopes underpin

 (Adds comment, detail; updates prices)
    By Melanie Burton
    MELBOURNE, March 29 (Reuters) - London copper climbed to its
highest in more than a week on Wednesday, buoyed by brighter
data from the United States and expectations of seasonally
improving second-quarter demand. 
    U.S. consumer confidence surged to a more than 16-year high
in March amid growing labour market optimism while the goods
trade deficit narrowed sharply in February, indicating the
economy was regaining momentum after faltering at the start of
the year.
    "Base metals rebounded strongly as investor sentiment picked
up after the strong consumer confidence number in the U.S. saw
Trump worries fade," ANZ said in a report.
    "Sentiment was also boosted by secondary economic data in
China that showed March activity was strong. The China Satellite
Manufacturing Index rose to 51.8, its strongest level in five
years, while a measure of sales manager activity also rose
    * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange had climbed 0.8 percent to $5,918.50 a tonne by
0750 GMT, adding to 2-percent gains from the previous session.
Prices earlier struck their highest since March 20 at $5,927.50
a tonne. 
    * SHFE: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper was up 2.6
percent at 47,530 yuan ($6,897) a tonne. ShFE zinc
rallied 3.5 pct.  
    * CHINA MANUFACTURING: Activity in China's vast
manufacturing sector likely grew for an eighth straight month in
March as a surprise rebound in the property market added to a
construction boom, boosting sales of building materials from
steel to cement, a Reuters poll showed.
    * CHINA SMELTERS: China's top copper smelters have agreed to
an 11 percent cut in second-quarter treatment and refining fees,
after disruptions at the world's two biggest copper mines curbed
the global supply of raw material.
    * TRADE DISPUTE: The United States has launched a probe to
determine whether imports of Chinese aluminium foil should be
subject to anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties, the Commerce
Department said on Tuesday, just weeks after the U.S. foil
industry accused the world's top producer of dumping.

    * LME NEWS: Regulatory delays to a proposal to slash initial
clearing margins by the LME have dealt another blow to the
exchange's ability to fend off competition from U.S. rival CME
Group, whose margins are sharply lower.
    * NICKEL SPREADS: Cash LME nickel fell to a $67 discount
against the three month nickel contract, the steepest discount
since Jan 2015, reflecting a market in ample supply. CMNI0-3
    COMING UP: U.S. Pending homes sales Feb at 1400 GMT    
 BASE METALS PRICES             0745 GMT         
 Three month LME copper                    5918.5
 Most active ShFE copper                    47530
 Three month LME aluminium                   1947
 Most active ShFE aluminium                 13835
 Three month LME zinc                        2855
 Most active ShFE zinc                      23380
 Three month LME lead                      2336.5
 Most active ShFE lead                      17525
 Three month LME nickel                     10010
 Most active ShFE nickel                    82550
 Three month LME tin                        20135
 Most active ShFE tin                      143660
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                           
 LME/SHFE COPPER             LMESHFCUc3      6.64
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM          LMESHFALc3   -1790.3
 LME/SHFE ZINC               LMESHFZNc3     96.58
 LME/SHFE LEAD               LMESHFPBc3   -1775.2
 LME/SHFE NICKEL             LMESHFNIc3      1792

($1 = 6.8915 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin and
Joseph Radford)
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