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. FUNDAMENTALS * 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 or MARKETS NEWS * 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. DATA/EVENTS AHEAD (GMT) 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 PRICES 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 3 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc -346.51 3 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc -371.67 3 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc -575.6 3 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc -3143.21 3 ($1 = 6.9832 yuan) (Reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Uttaresh.V)
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