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By Mai Nguyen
SINGAPORE, Aug 19 (Reuters) - Copper prices advanced on Monday as China announced new measures to support its economy amid a damaging trade war with the United States, potentially improving demand for the red metal.
China’s central bank over the weekend unveiled a key interest rate reform in a bid to help steer borrowing costs lower for companies.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.4% to $5,764 a tonne by 0410 GMT, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange edged up 0.2% to 46,510 yuan ($6,602.22) a tonne.
However, the metal’s rise was capped by weak data that showed the Chinese economy continues to be hurt by an ongoing trade war with the United States, while a trade deal is not yet in sight.
* NOT READY: U.S. President Donald Trump said he was less optimistic than his aides on striking a trade deal with China, saying that while he believed China was ready to come to an agreement, “I’m not ready to make a deal yet.”
* COPPER STOCKS: Copper inventories in LME-registered warehouses have jumped by 22% in three days to 331,975 tonnes, while stocks in warehouses tracked by Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 4.1% in a week. MCUSTX-TOTAL CU-STX-SGH
* NICKEL SPREAD: The premium of LME cash nickel over the three-month contract CMNI0-3 eased from a decade-high of $40 a tonne to $22 a tonne, suggesting nearby supply tightness has eased but the market was still relatively tight.
* NICKEL STOCKS: Nickel stocks in LME-approved warehouses hovered around their six-year lows at 145,134 tonnes. MNISTX-TOTAL
* PHILIPPINES: The Philippines’ top exporter of high-grade nickel ore is expected to shut its mining operations soon as ore deposits are nearly depleted.
* “Nickel was the best of the bunch as supply side issues helped support prices,” ANZ said in a note.
* SHANGHAI NICKEL: But Shanghai’s on-warrant nickel stocks, or those available for delivery, reached their highest since May 2018 on Friday at 28,695 tonnes SNI-TOTAL-W.
* NICKEL PRICES: LME nickel fell 0.6% while Shanghai nickel was almost unchanged.
* JAPAN COPPER: Japan’s copper cable shipments rose 8.1% to 64,300 tonnes in July from a year earlier, the Japan Electric Wire and Cable Makers’ Association said.
* LITHIUM: China’s Ganfeng Lithium said on Sunday it had completed a $160 million deal to raise its stake in the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium brine project in Argentina to 50%.
* PRICES: London aluminium rose 0.2%, zinc fell 0.2% while lead eased 0.2%. In Shanghai, aluminium rose 0.5% while tin dropped 2.5%.
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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 = 7.0446 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Richard Pullin and Sriraj Kalluvila)