SINGAPORE, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Copper prices fell on Friday, as investors were cautious about the global economy and demand for copper, as well as a forecast that there would be a surplus of the red metal next year.
Copper is often used a gauge of global economic health, which has been hit by a prolonged trade war between China and the United States, the world's two biggest economies.
The copper market should see a surplus of 281,000 tonnes in 2020, swinging from this year's deficit of 320,000 tonnes, the International Copper Study Group said this week.
Copper prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) fell 0.2% to $5,868.50 a tonne by 0254 GMT, while the most active copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) was almost unchanged at 47,300 yuan ($6,688.44) a tonne.
However, prices were supported by supply shortage fears due to production disruptions at several copper operations in Chile, the world's biggest producer of the metal, due to nationwide protests.
LME copper was on track for its third weekly gain, having risen 2.6% so far this month, while ShFE copper is set for its first weekly rise in three weeks.
* PHILIPPINE COPPER: The Philippine mining regulator has recommended lifting a three-year suspension of the environmental permit for the Tampakan copper-gold project, potentially one of the world's largest copper mines.
* ZINC: The premium of LME cash zinc over the three-month contract MZN0-3 touched its highest in nearly a month at $41.25 a tonne, indicating tight nearby supplies, while LME on-warrant zinc stocks were at their record low of 35,125 tonnes. MZNSTX-TOTAL
* ZINC DEFICIT: The global zinc market saw a 106,000-tonne shortfall over January-July, the latest data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group showed.
* INDONESIA NICKEL: Indonesia's mining ministry has recommended an increase of about 330,000 tonnes in the nickel ore export quota of miner PT Aneka Tambang.
* PRICES: LME aluminium fell 0.1%, nickel dropped 0.7%, zinc lost 0.4% and lead declined 0.3%. ShFE aluminium eased 0.1%, nickel rose 0.9%, zinc fell 0.7% while lead dipped 0.2%.
* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or
* Asian shares inched up, tracking small gains in world markets as positive earnings offset economic growth concerns, while sterling weakened as the prospect of a British election added fresh uncertainty to the Brexit drama.
0800 Germany Ifo Business Climate New Oct
0800 Germany Ifo Curr Conditions New Oct
0800 Germany Ifo Expectations New Oct
1400 US U Mich Sentiment Final Oct
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 = 7.0719 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)