(Updates prices; recasts throughout)
By Mai Nguyen
HANOI, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Base metals were mostly up in a tight range on Wednesday, following U.S. President Donald Trump’s upbeat comments about a trade deal with China, while the dollar held near a one-month peak against its peers.
China has agreed to cut tariffs on U.S.-built cars and auto parts to 15 percent from 40 percent currently, while Trump said talks were taking place with Beijing by phone and he would not raise tariffs on Chinese imports until he was sure about a deal.
Trump also said he would intervene in the Justice Department’s case against a top executive at China’s Huawei Technologies if it would serve national security interests or help close a trade deal.
The greenback hovered near its one-month high against its peers on a rebound in U.S. bond yields and weakness of the pound amid extended Brexit uncertainty.
A stronger dollar makes metals more expensive to import for countries using other currencies.
* COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was almost unchanged at $6,165.5 a tonne by 0711 GMT, while the Shanghai copper contract ended up 0.1 percent to 49,080 yuan ($7,140.67) a tonne.
* PRICES: London nickel, zinc, lead and tin were up, while aluminium eased 0.1 percent. All Shanghai base metals rose, except for aluminium and nickel which edged down slightly.
* CARS: China’s automobile sales fell 13.9 percent in November from a year earlier, the country’s top auto industry association said on Tuesday, marking the steepest such drop in more than six years in the world’s largest auto market.
* CHINA LOANS: China’s banks extended more new loans than expected in November after a sharp drop the previous month, in a sign that recent government pressure on lenders to help struggling smaller firms may be starting to bear fruit.
* LEAD: Fitch revised down its LME lead forecast for 2019 to $2,350 a tonne from $2,450 tonne as prices have underperformed in the second half of 2018, with long-term prices to fall on weaker global demand and surplus.
* However, Fitch expects spot prices of lead will increase in the rest of 2018 and into next year, as seasonal demand for batteries typically picks up in the winter, while fundamentals remain tight.
* ANGLO AMERICAN: Anglo American said on Tuesday its overall production will rise by more than previously expected between 2018 and 2021, while this year’s costs are forecast to be lower.
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 = 6.8733 Chinese yuan)
Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Sunil Nair