METALS-Copper set for 5th straight weekly gain on easing trade tensions

    BEIJING, Dec 20 (Reuters) - London copper prices held steady
above $6,200 a tonne in early Asian trade on Friday, heading for
their fifth straight weekly gain on easing U.S.-China trade
tensions and an improving demand outlook in top consumer China. 
    The metal widely used in construction and power is on course
to add 1.4% this week and is up 4.2% so far this year. 
    * COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
 was flat at $6,124 a tonne by 0203 GMT, after ending
0.7% higher at $6,215 on Thursday, its highest close since May
3. The most-traded February copper contract on the Shanghai
Futures Exchange climbed 0.6% to 49,330 yuan
($7,038.70) a tonne.
    * TRADE: China and the United States are in touch over the
signing of their Phase one trade deal, China's commerce ministry
said, which will see lower U.S. tariffs on Chinese goods and
higher Chinese purchases of U.S. farm, energy and manufactured
    * CHINA: China's refined copper output rose 19.6%
year-on-year to a record monthly high of 909,000 tonnes in
November, according to data released by the National Bureau of
Statistics on Tuesday.
    * LENDING: China stood pat on its lending benchmark rate on
Friday, as expected, after the central bank kept borrowing costs
of medium-term loans steady earlier this month.
    * ALUMINIUM: Shanghai aluminium rose for a fourth
straight day, by as much as 0.6% to 14,245 yuan a tonne, the
highest since Sept. 16, as low inventories raise supply
concerns. LME aluminium added as much as 0.4% to $1,804.50 a
tonne, the highest since Nov. 11.
    * CHALCO: Aluminum Corp of China Ltd,
known as Chalco, said on Thursday it would pay 1.29 billion yuan
($183 million) for a 10% stake in regional aluminium producer
Yunnan Aluminium via a share offering.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    * Asian shares snoozed near 18-month highs on Friday as
trade thinned in the run-up to Christmas and investors seemed
content to digest the chunky gains already made so far this
    0930  UK      GDP QQ, YY                 Q3
    1200  Brazil  IPCA-15 Mid-Month CPI      Dec
    1330  US      GDP Final                  Q3
    1500  US      Consumption, Adjusted MM   Nov
    1500  US      U Mich Sentiment Final     Dec
    1500  EU      Consumer Confidence Flash  Dec        
 BASE METALS PRICES                      0203 GMT
 Three month LME copper                      6214
 Most active ShFE copper                    49350
 Three month LME aluminium                   1802
 Most active ShFE aluminium                 14175
 Three month LME zinc                      2331.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                      18175
 Three month LME lead                        1918
 Most active ShFE lead                      15060
 Three month LME nickel                     14270
 Most active ShFE nickel                   112350
 Three month LME tin                        17300
 Most active ShFE tin                      140130
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                           
 LME/SHFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc    248.23
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc   -235.02
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc   -587.96
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc   -606.95
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc  -3119.36
($1 = 7.0084 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Aditya Soni)