* GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl (Adds closing prices)
By Zandi Shabalala
LONDON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Copper rose on Tuesday on hopes that the United States and China could reach a trade deal, but gains were capped by concerns that a full agreement was some way off.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) ended 0.8% higher at $5,875 a tonne. The metal, used in power and construction, is down about 2% so far this year on worries the trade war could cut global growth and hurt demand.
Copper prices will likely remain under pressure for the rest of the year, albeit with some short-lived gains, as there are several major issues yet to be resolved in trade negotiations, said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann.
“Metals prices have been mostly skewed to the downside due to more concerns about the trade dispute,” he said.
POSITIONING: Speculative positioning in LME copper remained largely neutral at last Thursday’s close, at 1.1% of open interest, falling from 12.7% on Oct. 7, estimates by broker Marex Spectron showed.
TECHNICALS: LME copper should remain below the 200-day moving average at $6,021.26 a tonne and the early July high at $6,075 over the next week or so, Commerzbank technical analyst Axel Rudolph said in a note.
CHINA STIMULUS: China will step up credit support to the economy and push real lending rates lower, central bank governor Yi Gang said on Tuesday, in an effort to prop up growth hit by a bruising trade war with the United States.
China accounts for nearly half of global copper consumption, estimated at around 24 million tonnes this year.
COPPER: Freeport McMoRan Inc expects treatment and refining charges for copper concentrates in 2020 to be “well below” last year’s levels as Chinese smelting capacity is expected to rise, a senior company executive said.
INDONESIA: Environmental impact studies for factories in Indonesia to produce battery-grade nickel chemicals could be completed by the end of the year, said Indonesia’s coordinating minister who oversees mining.
The studies need to be completed and approved before investors can proceed with construction.
ZINC AND LEAD: During the first nine months of the year, the global zinc deficit narrowed to 156,000 tonnes compared to 272,000 tonnes in the same period of last year.
The lead shortage widened to 83,000 tonnes in the year to end September from 34,000 tonnes last year.
ZINC SPREADS: The premium of cash zinc over the three-month contract CMZN0-3 fell to around $20 a tonne, its lowest in over a month and down from $62 touched earlier this month, as supply concerns eased.
Headline stocks in LME-approved warehouses moved further away from record lows, rising 8% to 56,275 tonnes. MZNSTX-TOTAL
PRICES: Aluminium fell 0.4% to $1,731 a tonne, zinc was unchanged at $2,343, lead gained 2% to $1,993, tin fell 0.5% to $15,975, and nickel ended down 1% to $14,690 after touching its lowest since Aug. 5.
Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; Editing by Louise Heavens, Mark Potter and Jan Harvey