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METALS-London copper gives up gains as U.S.-Iran tensions weigh

 (Recasts, updates prices, adds ShFE stocks data)
    BEIJING, June 21 (Reuters) - London copper prices pared
early gains to trade lower on Friday as the base metals complex
declined amid concerns over rising political tensions between
the United States and Iran.
    U.S. President Donald Trump approved military strikes
against Iran on Friday in retaliation for the downing of a U.S.
surveillance drone, but called off the attacks at the last
minute, the New York Times reported.     
    Copper is still on course for a 2.4% gain in London this
week, in what would be its best week since the week ended March
29, buoyed by the impending restart of trade talks between the
United States and China and signs the Federal Reserve may cut
interest rates as early as next month.
    "Copper has also found support from strike action at the
Chuquicamata copper mine in Chile," ANZ wrote in a note.
    Unions at Chuquicamata have called on members to reject a
sweetened contract offer from Codelco, the world's largest
copper producer, amid a nearly week-long strike that has halved
output from the mine.       
    * COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
 rose as much as 0.5%, crossing the $6,000 a tonne mark,
but was trading down 0.2% at $5,964 as of 0720 GMT. The metal
had hit a near one-month high of $6,027 in London on Thursday.
The most-traded August copper contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange ended flat on 46,850 yuan ($6,821.89) a tonne.
    * STOCKS: Copper inventories in warehouses monitored by the
ShFE fell 3.4% from a week earlier to 134,747 tonnes, the
exchange said on Friday.
    * ZAMBIA: Vedanta Resources said it would take
urgent steps to protect its Zambian copper assets and pursue
international arbitration if necessary after a Lusaka court
rejected its request to be included in liquidation proceedings.

    * LYNAS: Australia's Lynas Corp on Friday said it
was stockpiling production of a major rare earth element as
prices have jumped in recent weeks on rising supply concerns
amid trade tensions.
    * OTHER METALS: London nickel retreated sharply from
a three-week top struck on Thursday, slipping 1.2% to $12,150 a
tonne, while zinc was down 1.3%. In Shanghai, zinc
 ended down 1.4% and nickel lost 1.5%.
    * NICKEL: The global nickel market deficit narrowed to 9,400
tonnes in April from a revised shortfall of 14,200 tonnes in the
previous month, the International Nickel Study Group (INSG) said
on Thursday.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    * Asian stocks slipped, as U.S.-Iran tensions and anxieties
over Sino-U.S. trade talks left markets in the region struggling
to match the euphoria on Wall Street over a possible U.S.
interest rate cut next month.    
 BASE METALS PRICES                       0726 GMT
 Three month LME copper                       5960
 Most active ShFE copper                     46840
 Three month LME aluminium                    1772
 Most active ShFE aluminium                  13765
 Three month LME zinc                         2436
 Most active ShFE zinc                       19450
 Three month LME lead                       1899.5
 Most active ShFE lead                       16000
 Three month LME nickel                      12150
 Most active ShFE nickel                     98300
 Three month LME tin                         19020
 Most active ShFE tin                       144230
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                            
 LME/SHFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc3     581.2
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc3     -92.3
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc3    167.08
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc3    763.52
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc3   1712.99
($1 = 6.8676 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Subhranshu Sahu & Uttaresh.