March 9, 2018 / 4:35 AM / a year ago

METALS-Shanghai copper slumps to lowest since late Sept as tariff concerns spread

 (Adds Shanghai closing prices, updates London prices)
    MELBOURNE/BEIJING, March 9 (Reuters) - Shanghai copper fell
on Friday to its lowest since late September as investors
focused on escalating tensions over U.S. metal imports.
    U.S. President Donald Trump's 25 percent import tariff on
steel and 10 percent tariff on aluminium, with initial
exemptions for Canada and Mexico, will begin within 15 days, a
senior administration official said on Thursday.
    International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine
Lagarde said she feared a "tit-for-tat" escalation of trade
retaliation over the U.S. tariffs that would sap business
confidence and investment, while Chinese metal associations
called on Beijing to retaliate.     
    Investment bank Nomura, however, played down the impact on
exports from top steel and aluminium maker China, noting that
the "U.S. share of China's total steel and aluminium exports was
only (around) 16 percent". 
    * SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper
ended down 2 percent at 51,190 yuan ($8,080.12) a tonne, its
lowest close since Sept. 28. The metal has lost 2.5 percent this
week and is down 8.2 percent so far in 2018. 
    * LONDON COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper was
down 0.4 percent at $6,803 a tonne by 0747 GMT, having earlier
touched its lowest since Feb. 9.  
    * ZINC: Zinc, used to galvanise steel, was hit hardest among
base metals, falling by more than 3 percent in Shanghai
to its lowest since Dec. 8, before ending down 2.6 percent at
24,615 yuan a tonne. LME zinc was down 1.2 percent.
    * STEEL: The most traded steel rebar contract in Shanghai
 slumped by 3.7 percent to a 3-1/2-month closing low of
3,709 yuan a tonne after Trump's tariff decision.
Nickel, used to make stainless steel, closed down 1.5 percent in
Shanghai and was down 0.7 percent in London.
    * ALUMINIUM: The most traded May aluminium contract
closed down 1 percent at 14,075 yuan a tonne in Shanghai, while
LME aluminium was down 0.4 percent. Deliverable ShFE
aluminium stocks rose by 4,517 to a fresh record 846,913 tonnes.
    * JAPAN: Japan said the U.S. tariffs would have a "big
impact" on the countries' close bilateral ties, while South
Korea said it may file a complaint to the World Trade
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    * Asian shares pared sharp early gains on Friday ahead of
U.S. payrolls data which could hasten Federal Reserve rate
hikes, and as some caution set in about the new entente between
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald
 BASE METALS PRICES                        0750 GMT
 Three month LME copper                        6804
 Most active ShFE copper                      51180
 Three month LME aluminium                     2093
 Most active ShFE aluminium                   14075
 Three month LME zinc                        3199.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                        24620
 Three month LME lead                          2341
 Most active ShFE lead                        18470
 Three month LME nickel                       13215
 Most active ShFE nickel                     100800
 Three month LME tin                          21380
 Most active ShFE tin                        146460
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                             
 LME/SHFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc3     970.94
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc3   -1333.31
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc3     552.32
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc3      349.9
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc3    1739.44

($1 = 6.3353 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton and Tom Daly in BEIJING
Editing by Joseph Radford and Subhranshu Sahu)
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