March 28, 2018 / 5:40 AM / a month ago

METALS-London copper sheds early gains as dollar firms, trade concerns linger

 (Adds broker comment, updates prices)
    BEIJING, March 28 (Reuters) - London copper gave up early
gains to trade lower on Wednesday, tracking a decline in
equities on a firmer U.S. dollar and as global trade tensions
persisted.
    The dollar index, which gained about 0.3 percent
overnight, making metals more expensive for holders of other
currencies and weighing on prices, was trading up 0.2 percent by
0722 GMT.
    Fears of a trade war between the United States and top
metals consumer China continued to cast a shadow over the base
metals market, even as reports of behind-the-scenes talks
between Washington and Beijing spurred some optimism. 
    Base metals are showing less volatility amid thin trade end
as the end of the quarter approaches. 
    "Overall it has been a much more sedate session so far today
both in terms of absolute volumes and ranges with many traders
staying away from the base metal noise for now," broker Marex
Spectron said in a note.
        
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange (LME) was down 0.6 percent at $6,607 a tonne by
0724 GMT, having risen as much as 0.4 percent earlier in the
session.    
    * SHFE COPPER: The most-traded May copper contract on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange closed down 0.4 percent at
49,260 yuan ($7,846.45) a tonne.
    * OTHER METALS: All other base metals were down with the
exception of Shanghai lead, which closed up 0.6 percent
at 18,645 yuan a tonne. 
    * COPPER: Vedanta Resources Plc said on Tuesday its
India unit Vedanta Ltd's copper smelting operations at
Thootukudi, in the southern state of Tamil Nadu, will be closed
for about 15 days as part of a maintenance shutdown.  

    * ALUMINIUM: China's northern province of Shanxi on Tuesday
offered some of the country's biggest aluminium companies
preferential access to bauxite resources if they transfer
smelting capacity to the region.
    * ALUMINA: The Alunorte refinery in northern Brazil, owned
by Norway's Norsk Hydro ASA, will start shutting down
half of its alumina capacity in the next two weeks to preserve
equipment, two people familiar with the matter said on Tuesday. 
   
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    MARKETS NEWS    
    * Asian shares fell on Wednesday after Wall Street was
knocked hard by concerns about tighter controls on the tech
industry, denting a brief global equities recovery driven by
hopes that the risk of a U.S.-China trade war was easing. 
    
        
   PRICES    
 BASE METALS PRICES                        0724 GMT
 Three month LME copper                        6607
 Most active ShFE copper                      49260
 Three month LME aluminium                   2033.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                   13735
 Three month LME zinc                          3263
 Most active ShFE zinc                        24805
 Three month LME lead                          2375
 Most active ShFE lead                        18640
 Three month LME nickel                       12965
 Most active ShFE nickel                      96600
 Three month LME tin                          20810
 Most active ShFE tin                        140570
                                                   
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                             
 LME/SHFE COPPER             LMESHFCUc3      872.13
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM          LMESHFALc3    -1111.44
 LME/SHFE ZINC               LMESHFZNc3      461.14
 LME/SHFE LEAD               LMESHFPBc3      342.52
 LME/SHFE NICKEL             LMESHFNIc3      116.19
 
($1 = 6.2780 Chinese yuan renminbi)

    
 (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
  
 
 
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