September 20, 2018 / 3:36 AM / a month ago

METALS-London copper prices hover near 3-wk high as trade war fears ease

MELBOURNE, Sept 20 (Reuters) - London copper hovered near a three-week peak on Thursday amid relief that the latest tariffs in the Sino-U.S. trade conflict were set at lower levels than some had feared.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LONDON COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper was trading flat at $6,118 a tonne by 0226 GMT, holding a half-percent gain from the previous session when prices tipped their strongest since Aug. 29 at $6,145 a tonne. Prices are recovering from one-year lows below $5,800 a tonne plumbed a month ago.

* SHANGHAI COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper was steady at 49,530 yuan ($7,233) a tonne.

* DOLLAR: The dollar hovered near a seven-week low against a basket of major currencies, in part as safe-haven demand for the U.S. currency ebbed as some concerns over the trade war eased.

* TRADE CONFLICT: Still, the trade dispute could well expand into other areas given the significant "ammunition" the United States and China have, the director-general of the World Trade Organization (WTO) said on Wednesday.

* ZINC: Shanghai zinc prices climbed 2 percent, following a near 4 percent advance in London overnight, as falling inventories and a jump in premiums flag an impending shortage of refined metal. Zinc imports to China have been profitable since late August, according to Reuters calculations.

* LME: Major Chinese broker Nanhua Futures is planning to start trading on the LME in the first-half of next year as the market experiences a wave of fresh interest from China.

* RUSAL: The start of aluminium production at Russia's Taishet aluminium smelter, a project of sanctions-hit Rusal , has been delayed to after 2020. It had planned to build the first line of the Siberian smelter, with an annual capacity of 430,000 tonnes, by 2020.

Rusal's foil-rolling plant Armenal has started cutting production, a source at the plant and a source close to Rusal said.

* JAPANESE BUYERS: Some Japanese aluminium buyers have agreed to pay a global producer a premium of $103 per tonne for shipments in the October to December quarter, reflecting lower spot premiums.

* INDIA: India's National Aluminium Co Ltd plans to invest 55.2 billion rupees ($756.4 million) in the eastern state of Odisha to expand capacity.

* NORWAY: Norsk Hydro said it would double output at its Norwegian Husnes facility to 190,000 tonnes from the first-half of 2020.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or

MARKETS NEWS

* Asian stocks rose in early trade on Thursday following a second day of gains on global share markets amid easing investor concern over the impact from the U.S.-China trade war, but markets remained cautious.

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 = 6.8482 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Melanie Burton Editing by Joseph Radford

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