METALS-Copper falls as investors take year-end profits, heads for 4% annual gain

    BEIJING, Dec 31 (Reuters) - London copper and other base
metal prices tracked Asian equity markets lower in early trade
on Tuesday despite positive factory data in top metals consumer
China, as investors looked to collect profits on the last day of
the year.
    Copper, widely used in power and construction, is on course
to notch a 5.8% rise in December, which would be its best month
in two years, and a 4% gain in 2019 on easing Sino-U.S. trade
tensions. However, the metal is set to end the decade around 16%
lower than where it began.      
    * COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
 slipped 0.2% to $6,205.50 a tonne by 0218 GMT, after
closing up 0.1% on Monday. The most-traded February copper
contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.3% to
49,270 yuan ($7,055.50) a tonne. 
    * CHILE: The world's top copper-producing country is due to
report its copper output figure for November later on Tuesday.
    * CHINA: Factory activity in China expanded for a second
straight month in December, as Beijing's stimulus measures
buoyed domestic demand and exporters cheered a trade war truce
with the United States.
    * TRADE: Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit Washington
this week to sign a Phase 1 trade deal with the United States,
the South China Morning Post reported on Monday. 
    * OTHER METALS: Lead was the laggard, falling 1% in London
 and 0.9% in Shanghai, while ShFE nickel
 was the only metal to rise, nudging up 0.4%.
    * GOLD: China's net gold imports via Hong Kong in November
plunged 72% from the previous month to their lowest in nearly
nine years, data from the Hong Kong Census and Statistics
Department showed on Monday, mainly due to subdued demand.
    * RIO: Global miner Rio Tinto said on Monday full
operations at its South African unit Richard Bay Minerals (RBM)
will resume in early-January after cutting back because of
security concerns for its workers.
    * HOLIDAY: Both the LME and the ShFE will be closed on
Wednesday for the New Year's Day holiday.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    * Asian shares slipped on the last trading day of the
decade, echoing falls on Wall Street, as investors locked in
gains made since the United States and China reached a
preliminary trade deal earlier this month.    
0600 Russia Markit Services PMI Dec
0700* Turkey Trade Balance Nov
0800* Switzerland Official Reserves Assets Nov
1000* Brazil TJLP Lending Rate Q1
1400 U.S. CaseShiller 20 House Prices Oct
1500 U.S. Consumer Confidence Dec
*approximate release time
 BASE METALS PRICES                       0221 GMT
 Three month LME copper                     6206.5
 Most active ShFE copper                     49260
 Three month LME aluminium                    1818
 Most active ShFE aluminium                  14080
 Three month LME zinc                       2293.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                       17985
 Three month LME lead                         1923
 Most active ShFE lead                       15070
 Three month LME nickel                      14285
 Most active ShFE nickel                    111910
 Three month LME tin                         16925
 Most active ShFE tin                       135510
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                            
 LME/SHFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc     422.05
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc    -346.51
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc    -371.67
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc     -575.6
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc   -3143.21
    ($1 = 6.9832 yuan)

 (Reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Uttaresh.V)