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METALS-Shanghai aluminium gains on positive China signs

SYDNEY, April 18 Shanghai aluminium turned positive on Tuesday after an initial retreat on signs of robust demand and output cuts in China.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Shanghai Futures Exchange aluminium was up 0.10 percent to 14,555 yuan ($2,116) after slipping in early trade. Traders cited profit-taking after the contract on Monday reached a near four-year high before buyers re-entered the market.

Three new aluminium projects with a capacity of 2 million tonnes have been halted in Xinjiang in western China for violating rules aimed at curbing capacity, state-owned China Securities Times reported on Sunday.

The contract was also being underpinned by data on Monday showing China's economy grew 6.9 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier.

* Shfe copper slipped by 0.49 percent to 46,380 yuan a tonne, while Shfe zinc dropped 1.51 percent to 21,515 yuan.

* London Metal Exchange copper resumed its firmer trend after reopening following the Monday Easter break.

* China's steel output rose 1.8 percent in March to a monthly record of 72 million tonnes, stoking worries of a glut that continues to grow even as Beijing tries to rein in excess capacity in the bloated sector and demand remains flat.

* China's Tianjin Port Co Ltd will impose measures to curb the trucking and storage of coal months earlier than expected, as one of the nation's busiest ports complies with government orders in its war on smog, a customer notice shows.

* Asian stocks pulled back in early trade on Tuesday, while the dollar bounced back from a five-month low after the U.S. Treasury Secretary's comments supported a stronger currency, although escalating tensions over North Korea capped gains.

* The dollar pulled away from five-month lows versus the yen early on Tuesday, with comments from U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and higher debt yields giving the bruised greenback some breathing space.

DATA/EVENTS 1230 U.S. Housing Starts March 1255 U.S. Redbook weekly 1315 U.S. Industrial Production March

PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin

ARBS ($1 = 6.8800 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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