METALS-Copper steady; zinc rises on demand boost ahead of Phase 1 trade deal

 (Adds Shanghai closing prices, updates London prices)
    SINGAPORE/BEIJING, Jan 6 (Reuters) - London copper prices
steadied on Monday after falling sharply in the previous
session, while zinc hit a two-week high as the soon-to-be signed
Phase 1 trade deal between the United States and China boosted
prospects of higher demand.
    A Chinese delegation is planning to travel to Washington on
Jan. 13 for the signing of the U.S.-China Phase 1 trade deal,
the South China Morning Post reported on Sunday.
    Monetary policy easing by Beijing and a better-than-expected
manufacturing performance from China in December were also
creating a favourable backdrop for copper, Argonaut Securities
said in a note.
    * COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
 was flat at $6,129 a tonne by 0740 GMT, after shedding
1% on Friday. The most-traded March copper contract on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange closed down 0.6% on 48,760
yuan ($6,990.58) a tonne.
    * ZINC: The metal used to galvanise steel rose as
much as much as 1.4% to $2,339 a tonne, its highest since Dec.
23 on concerns about falling stocks MZN-STOCKS, which stand at
just 51,125 tonnes in LME-registered warehouses. ShFE zinc
 closed up 1.5% on 18,110 yuan a tonne.
    * ZINC SPREAD: The premium of cash LME zinc over the
three-month contract CMZNo-3 stood at $14.75 a tonne on
Friday, the highest since Dec. 2, indicating tight near-term
    * COPPER: Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd
is weighing investment of around $1 billion to lift output at
Africa's biggest copper mine in Zambia despite a feud with state
miner ZCCM-IH over project funding.    
    * OTHER METALS: The LME complex was mixed, with aluminium
 slipping 0.4% and lead losing 0.5%. Nickel
 edged up 0.2& while added 0.3%.
    * ALUMINIUM: Aluminium stocks held at three major Japanese
ports AL-STK-JPPRT at the end of November were up 0.9% at
321,200 tonnes from the previous month, Marubeni Corp
    *  Tensions in the Middle East after the killing of a top
Iranian general by the United States pushed an index of Asian
shares off an 18-month high as investors pushed safe-haven gold
near a seven-year high, and oil jumped to four-month peaks.
 BASE METALS PRICES                     0740 GMT
 Three month LME copper                   6128.5
 Most active ShFE copper                   48760
 Three month LME aluminium                1816.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                14105
 Three month LME zinc                       2327
 Most active ShFE zinc                     18110
 Three month LME lead                       1910
 Most active ShFE lead                     14755
 Three month LME nickel                    13790
 Most active ShFE nickel                  108190
 Three month LME tin                       16850
 Most active ShFE tin                     134570
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                          
 LME/SHFE COPPER             LMESHFCUc     519.8
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM          LMESHFALc   -396.08
 LME/SHFE ZINC               LMESHFZNc   -422.09
 LME/SHFE LEAD               LMESHFPBc   -710.97
 LME/SHFE NICKEL             LMESHFNIc  -2748.14

($1 = 6.9751 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Tom Daly in
Beijing; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Uttaresh.V)