(Corrects first bullet point to show prices were recorded in late afternoon in Asia, not at 0211 GMT)
By Melanie Burton
MELBOURNE, July 14 (Reuters) - London copper and aluminium were marking time near recent highs on Friday, underpinned by encouraging economic reports from China and the prospect of aluminium production cuts.
China’s fiscal spending jumped 19.1 percent in June from a year earlier, quickening sharply from a 9.2 percent rise in May and signalling government efforts to cushion a gradual slowdown in the world’s second-largest economy.
“(Aluminium) prices are up on talk of further (smelting) capacity cuts in China ... We really will not know whether or not these cuts will materialize until later this year when they are supposed to start,” INTL FCStone said in a report.
“There remains considerable ‘wiggle room’ for producers to evade production cuts and this could result in only a slight decline in overall output, or more likely, a more moderate pace in the rate of production growth compared to what we are currently seeing.”
* LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper had eased 0.1 percent to $5,869 a tonne by late afternoon in Asia, extending small losses from the previous session. Prices have failed at the $5,930-$5,970 band five times in the past fortnight, reflecting formidable chart-based resistance at this level. Support is seen at the 100-day moving average at $5,761 a tonne.
* SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper slipped 0.3 percent to 47,160 yuan ($6,955) a tonne.
* OTHER METALS: Zinc and lead fell by around half a percent in London and by about 1.5 percent in Shanghai, weighed down by falls in steel prices. LME aluminium edged up by 0.3 percent.
* U.S. ECONOMY: The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week for the first time in a month and producer prices unexpectedly rose in June, likely keeping the Federal Reserve on course for a third interest rate increase this year.
* CHINA ECONOMY: China posted stronger-than-expected June trade figures on Thursday, bolstered by firm global demand for Chinese goods and robust appetite for construction materials at home, but local curbs on lending could weigh on imports later this year.
* ANTOFAGASTA: Workers at the Zaldivar copper mine in Chile, owned by Antofagasta Plc and Barrick Gold Corp , will resume talks with Antofagasta after voting to strike earlier this week, the union said on Thursday.
* LME STORAGE: The LME is trying to revamp its digital metal storage system LMEshield, which registers material stored in non-exchange warehouses to guard against fraud, after scant uptake since it was launched over a year ago.
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 = 6.7811 Chinese yuan renminbi)
Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Joseph Radford