By James Regan
SYDNEY, May 2 (Reuters) - Copper rose sharply on Tuesday as investors returned from a three-day weekend in most of Asia with a renewed appetite for industrial commodities.
The gains in both London Metal Exchange and Shanghai Futures Exchange copper were aided by advances in Asian stocks on easing concerns over North Korea, commodities traders said.
COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange gained 1 percent to $5,769 a tonne by 0700 GMT, building on gains from the last session on Friday.
SHANGHAI: The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 1.2 percent to 46,790 yuan ($6,785) a tonne. Both exchanges were closed on Monday for Labour Day.
GRASBERG PROTEST: Thousands of workers from the Indonesian unit of Freeport McMoRan Inc staged a rally near its Papua mine on Monday, a union leader said, protesting against layoffs by the miner due to a contract dispute with the government.
HARD STEEL: Chinese steel futures climbed to their highest in almost a month on Tuesday, supported by restocking demand following a long holiday weekend that also lifted raw material iron ore.
NEW ORE SOURCE: A mineral-rich region of Papua New Guinea has lifted a 40-year-old ban on new mining and exploration, opening the way for iron ore and copper operations.
LEAD: LME lead recoiled after initially building on strong gains last week to trade slightly lower at $2,246 a tonne. The downside is seen cushioned by falling warehouse inventories.
Stocks in LME-registered warehouses MPBSTX-TOTAL have fallen 13 percent to 165,275 tonnes over the last 27 days, their lowest in more than a year. ShFE lead maintained day-long gains to end 1.3 percent higher at 16,485 yuan a tonne.
EASING TENSIONS: Worries about tensions over the Korean peninsula eased slightly after U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday opened the door to meeting North Korea's Kim Jon Un, saying he would be honoured to meet the young leader under the right circumstances.
MARKETS NEWS: Asian shares rose to near two-year highs on growing optimism over tech industry earnings and easing concerns over North Korea.
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DATA/EVENTS 0145 China Caixin manufacturing PMI final Apr 0750 France Markit manufacturing PMI Apr 0755 Germany Markit/BME manufacturing PMI Apr 0800 Euro zone Markit manufacturing PMI final Apr 0900 Euro zone Unemployment rate Mar 1345 U.S. ISM-New York index Apr Federal Open Market Committee starts two-day policy meeting
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 = 6.8966 Chinese yuan)
Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Richard Pullin and Biju Dwarakanath