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METALS-London copper scales near 8-month peak on trade optimism

    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.  
    * 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
    * 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       
    * 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.    
    1100* Brazil IGP-M Inflation Index Dec
* approximate release time         
 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
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc      -352.29
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc      -403.65
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc       -597.3
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc     -3085.06

($1 = 6.9925 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Aditya Soni)