March 19, 2019 / 4:09 AM / a month ago

METALS-Copper, aluminium edge higher on China tax cut

(Adds quotes, update prices)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, March 19 (Reuters) - Copper and aluminium prices ticked up on Tuesday, supported by China's announcement to cut tax for manufacturers from next month to boost growth in the world's second-largest economy.

"Sentiment was largely constructive as investors continued to view China's latest policy moves as positive for metals demand," ANZ said in a note.

China will cut value-added tax for manufacturing and other sectors on April 1, Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday, adding that cuts in taxes and fees remained a key measure to cope with downward pressure on its economy.

But gains were muted as the tax cut might not translate into higher earnings for companies, said analyst Helen Lau of Argonaut Securities.

"The tax cut will save tax burden for enterprises but companies will make use of lower tax rate to boost research and development, so impact on earnings will not be much," she said.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.4 percent to $6,448 a tonne by 0350 GMT, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange edged up 0.1 percent to 49,240 yuan ($7,332.29) a tonne.

* COPPER STOCKS: Copper inventories in LME-approved warehouses fell slightly to 183,825 tonnes by March 15 but were still hovering around a five-month high. MCUSTX-TOTAL

* TECHNICALS: LME copper may test a resistance at $6,525 per tonne this week, a break above which could lead to a gain into the range of $6,594-$6,662, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

* CHINA CONSTRUCTION: China by mid-year will slash the time needed to obtain approvals for construction projects as part of a push for growth, the country's housing ministry said on Monday.

* CHINA GROWTH: Chinese economic growth is expected to pick up in the second quarter from a seasonally slow first three months, which has a long holiday of Chinese New Year.

"China's economy in the second quarter should be growing at lower pace compared to the same time last year but quarterly it should be up," Argonaut's Lau said.

* VEDANTA CLASH: A protester and a policeman died in clashes outside Vedanta Ltd's eastern Indian alumina refinery, a police official said on Monday, less than a year after police killed 13 anti-Vedanta protesters in south India.

* OTHERS: Three-month London aluminium contract rose 0.4 percent to $1,928 a tonne, while zinc edged up 0.1 percent and nickel rose 0.3 percent.

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

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 = 6.7155 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Subhranshu Sahu

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