July 31, 2017 / 7:33 AM / 3 years ago

METALS-London copper cracks new two-year peak after China data

 (Adds detail, updates prices)
    By Melanie Burton
    MELBOURNE, July 31 (Reuters) - London copper rallied to its highest since more than two
years on Monday after manufacturing data from top user China confirmed growth tempered slightly
but stayed firm in July. 
    Growth in China's manufacturing sector cooled as foreign demand for Chinese goods slackened,
but a government-led infrastructure push kept construction humming and helped prop up the
world's second-largest economy.
    "It's still a strong figure," said Amy Li of the National Australia bank in Melbourne,
adding that policy makers were likely to ensure smooth sailing for China's economy ahead of a
leadership meeting in October. 
    * LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper was up 1.3 percent at $6,408 a tonne, by
0701 GMT, after ending flat on Friday. Prices earlier hit $6,430 a tonne, the highest since May
    * SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper climbed 1.4 percent to 50,710 yuan 
($7,543) a tonne, its highest since mid-February.
    * SHFE NICKEL: SHFE nickel rallied 1 percent as stainless steel makers restock, and
amid ongoing concerns about supply from the Philippines, which has been cracking down on the
mining sector. LME zinc rallied 1.4 percent, while LME nickel was up 0.7 percent
and targeting a monthly advance of nearly 9 percent amid broad gains across the steel sector.
    * PHILIPPINES: The Philippines' environment minister Roy Cimatu said at a news conference on
Monday he would not lift a ban on open-pit mining imposed in April, and that an inter-agency
mining council would review how mining companies in the Philippines are taxed.
    * U.S. DOLLAR: The dollar struggled on Monday, wallowing near a 2-1/2-year low against the
euro, weighed down by U.S. political uncertainty and uninspiring U.S. data that added to doubts
about whether there will be another Federal Reserve rate hike this year.
    * ANTOFAGASTA Chilean mining company Antofagasta could green-light a $1.1 billion
revamp of its Los Pelambres copper mine in the first months of 2018, as rising copper prices
buoy spirits in the sector, the company's CEO told Reuters on Friday.
    * COPPER SPECULATORS: Hedge funds and money managers increased their net long position in
COMEX copper in the week to July 25, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on
Friday. Managed net long positions are at the highest since April.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
 BASE METALS PRICES              0710 GMT            
 Three month LME copper                          6411
 Most active ShFE copper                        50700
 Three month LME aluminium                     1919.5
 Most active ShFE                               14545
 Three month LME zinc                            2818
 Most active ShFE zinc                          23355
 Three month LME lead                            2341
 Most active ShFE lead                          18400
 Three month LME nickel                         10275
 Most active ShFE nickel                        82990
 Three month LME tin                            20825
 Most active ShFE tin                          149910
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                               
 LME/SHFE COPPER            LMESHFCUc3          473.8
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM         LMESHFALc3        -410.36
 LME/SHFE ZINC              LMESHFZNc3         841.06
 LME/SHFE LEAD              LMESHFPBc3        -657.06
 LME/SHFE NICKEL            LMESHFNIc3        1901.07

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Biju Dwarakanath)
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