August 7, 2018 / 3:02 AM / 9 days ago

METALS-Copper rises on softer dollar, but trade woes weigh on market

(Updates prices)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, Aug 7 (Reuters) - London copper edged higher on Tuesday, aided by a weaker dollar, although escalating trade tensions between the United States and China kept risk appetite in check.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.5 percent at $6,161.50 a tonne by 0701 GMT. On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, the most-traded copper closed up 0.2 percent at 49,480 yuan ($7,236) a tonne.

On Friday China unveiled tariffs on 5,207 items imported from the United States, with the extra levies ranging from 5 percent to 25 percent, which analysts say could eventually undermine growth.

“Ongoing concerns about the impact of the trade conflict between U.S. and China continue to weigh on sentiment,” ANZ said in a note.

“This comes despite threats of supply disruptions in Chile. Workers at Escondida are on the verge of striking this week after negations with management at the mine broke down.”

* NICKEL: Shanghai nickel climbed 2.1 percent to settle at 112,630 yuan a tonne, supported by a rally in Chinese steel prices to their strongest since April 2012 amid production curbs.

* ESCONDIDA: Miner BHP said it had formally requested a period of government mediation with the union at its Escondida copper mine in Chile, the world’s largest, prompting the union to postpone the start of a strike approved by workers.

* ALUMINA: Four more cities in northeast China’s Liaoning province have abandoned proposed alumina projects amid public environmental concerns, after Chaoyang last week scrapped plans to build the world’s biggest alumina refinery. The cancellations - announced by the cities of Fengcheng, Fuxin, Gaizhou and Huludao - mean projects designed to produce over 18.5 million tonnes of alumina will not go ahead as planned.

* MARKETS: The dollar slipped 0.2 percent versus a basket of major currencies, losing initial support from simmering U.S.-China trade tensions. But a rebound in battered Chinese stock markets helped lift Asian equities.

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

ARBS ($1 = 6.8385 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Naveen Thukral Additional reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr. in MANILA Editing by Richard Pullin and Subhranshu Sahu

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