February 28, 2019 / 1:52 AM / 21 days ago

METALS-Copper flat after China PMI miss, heads for best month since late 2017

    BEIJING, Feb 28 (Reuters) - Copper prices were steady in
early trade on Thursday, with concerns over low stocks balancing
out a contraction in China manufacturing and a U.S. warning that
it was too early to say what the outcome of trade talks with
Beijing will be.     
    Copper is on course to rise 5.5 percent in February amid
supply concerns and earlier optimism over the trade talks, which
would mark its best month since December 2017.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange was flat at $6,509 a tonne at 0129 GMT, after
closing up 0.2 percent in the previous session. The most-traded
copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange nudged
up 0.2 percent to 50,240 yuan ($7,518.48) a tonne. 
    * CHINA: Factory activity in China shrank for the third
straight month in February, with its official Purchasing
Manager's Index falling to a three-year low of 49.2, missing the
49.5 forecast in a Reuters poll of analysts.
    * TRADE: U.S. issues with China are "too serious" to be
resolved with promises from Beijing to purchase more U.S. goods
and any deal between the two countries must be include a way to
ensure commitments are met, U.S. Trade Representative Robert
Lighthizer said.
    * STOCKS: Copper inventories in LME-registered warehouses
MCU-STOCKS, near 130,000 tonnes, are close to their lowest in
10 years.
    * CODELCO: Chile's Chuquicamata underground copper mine is
due to start operations in middle of this year, state copper
miner Codelco's chairman said.
    * BHP: BHP Group Ltd, the world's biggest miner,
announced a raft of management changes, in line with its
"transformation agenda" led by Chief Executive Andrew Mackenzie.

    * HKEX: Hong Kong's stock exchange operator said it would
expand its connect schemes and launch a series of new products,
as it announced its strategy for the next three years.

    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
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    MARKETS NEWS    
    * Asian stocks slipped after the comments from Lighthizer
dented some of the recent optimism towards Sino-U.S. trade
relations.    
        
    DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)
0500    Japan        Housing Starts YY Jan
0700      Germany      Import Prices Jan
0700      U.K.          Nationwide House Prices Feb
0745      France      GDP Detailed Q4
1200      India      Fiscal Year GDP 2018 
1300      Germany      CPI Prelim Feb
1330      U.S.          GDP 2nd Estimate Q4
1330      U.S.          Initial Jobless Claims w/e Feb. 23
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks at the
Citizens Budget Commission 87th Annual Awards Dinner       
        
    PRICES
 BASE METALS PRICES                       0126 GMT
 Three month LME copper                       6510
 Most active ShFE copper                     50240
 Three month LME aluminium                    1920
 Most active ShFE aluminium                  13695
 Three month LME zinc                         2740
 Most active ShFE zinc                       21825
 Three month LME lead                       2134.5
 Most active ShFE lead                       17325
 Three month LME nickel                      13045
 Most active ShFE nickel                    102140
 Three month LME tin                             0
 Most active ShFE tin                       150480
                                                  
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                            
 LME/SHFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc3   -331.19
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc3  -1082.84
                                          
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc3     -57.7
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc3    213.63
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc3   -163.13
                                          
 
($1 = 6.6822 Chinese yuan renminbi)

    
 (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Joseph Radford)
  
 
 
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