BEIJING, Dec 27 (Reuters) - London copper rose to its highest in almost eight months on Friday, tracking a rally in Shanghai prices, on signs that China and the United States were closer to signing a Phase 1 trade pact. Opening after a two-day Christmas break, three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange firmed as much as 0.7% to $6,256 a tonne in early trade, the highest since May 7, and stood at $6,252.50 as of 0124 GMT. The gains came after the most-traded February copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange settled 0.5% higher on Wednesday and added another 0.2% on Thursday. The contract edged up 0.1% to 49,670 yuan ($7,103.32) a tonne on Friday, set for its fourth straight session of gains. London prices of the metal, widely used in power and construction, were on course to gain 1.2% over the holiday-shortened week and have firmed 6.6% so far this month. FUNDAMENTALS * TRADE: China is in close touch with the United States on signing a Phase 1 trade deal, the country's commerce ministry said on Thursday, adding that both sides are still going through necessary procedures before the signing. * CHINA: China's top copper smelters on Thursday raised their floor treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs) for the first quarter of 2020 to $67 a tonne and 6.7 cents a pound, according to two people with knowledge of the matter. * ZAMBIA: Zambia plans to make copper mining companies account for the gold they produce as it seeks to boost revenue from its mineral resources, a senior ministry of mines official said on Thursday. * OTHER METALS: Most other LME metals were lower, with nickel slipping 0.6%, lead losing 0.4% and aluminium down 0.2%. Zinc, used to galvanise steel, was the only other London metal to rise, adding 0.2% to $2,279.50 a tonne. * ALUMINIUM: Yunnan Aluminium said on Thursday its board of directors had unanimously approved building a 210,000 tonne per year second phase at its aluminium smelting project in Heqing county, Yunnan province, southwest China. * For the top stories in metals and other news, click or MARKETS NEWS * A gauge of global equity markets and Wall Street's three major indices finished at all-time highs on Thursday in light holiday trade as a year-end rally advanced further on optimism over a U.S.-China trade agreement. DATA AHEAD (GMT) 1100* Brazil IGP-M Inflation Index Dec * approximate release time PRICES BASE METALS PRICES 0123 GMT Three month LME copper 6254 Most active ShFE copper 49680 Three month LME aluminium 1811 Most active ShFE aluminium 14055 Three month LME zinc 2280 Most active ShFE zinc 17860 Three month LME lead 1939.5 Most active ShFE lead 15230 Three month LME nickel 14245 Most active ShFE nickel 111880 Three month LME tin 17095 Most active ShFE tin 138150 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc 556.98 3 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc -352.29 3 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc -403.65 3 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc -597.3 3 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc -3085.06 3 ($1 = 6.9925 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Aditya Soni)
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