February 6, 2019 / 4:22 AM / 6 months ago

METALS-Copper rises for 3rd session as U.S.-China trade tensions ease

(Adds details, updates prices)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, Feb 6 (Reuters) - London copper rose on Wednesday for a third straight session as trade tensions between Washington and Beijing ease, although concerns over slowing factory activity in China limited gains.

Senior U.S. and Chinese officials are poised to start another round of trade talks in Beijing next week to push for a deal to protect American intellectual property and avert a March 2 increase in U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods, two people familiar with the plans said on Tuesday.

COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.1 percent to $6,238 a tonne by 0358 GMT.

TALKS: The new round of talks in Beijing, to be led by U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, was earlier reported by the Wall Street Journal, citing an unidentified senior administration official.

FACTORY ACTIVITY: China’s factory activity shrank by the most in almost three years in January as new orders slumped further and output fell, a private survey showed, reinforcing fears that a slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy is deepening.

NICKEL: LME nickel rose 0.6 percent to $13,115 a tonne after dropping 1.7 percent in the last session.

“Driven by strong trading in Chinese markets, nickel had notched up its longest run of gains in almost eight months, amid speculation that output cuts at Vale’s Brazilian operations would spread to its nickel operations,” ANZ said in a note.

“The company said that none of its nickel mining operations utilise the upstream method dams which have caused issues in its iron ore operations.”

Brazilian miner Vale SA on Tuesday declared force majeure on some iron ore contracts after a court-ordered halt at a mine responsible for 9 percent of its output. The halt follows a burst dam that likely killed more than 300 people.

President Donald Trump in his State of the Union speech on Tuesday vowed to build a border wall that is a source of a deep partisan divide and said Democratic attempts at “ridiculous partisan investigations” could damage U.S. prosperity.

PRICES

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

Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Shreejay Sinha and Tom Hogue

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