February 1, 2018 / 6:24 AM / a year ago

METALS-London metal prices slip, manufacturing growth stems losses

 (Adds comment, detail; updates prices)
    By Melanie Burton
    MELBOURNE, Feb 1 (Reuters) - London copper slipped on
Thursday as buying dried up ahead of the Lunar New Year in
mid-February, but a flurry of encouraging manufacturing reports
out of Asia stemmed losses. 
   "The physical market for copper cathodes (has) remained
calm," European copper product maker Aurubis said in a report.
   "In China, demand was restrained ahead of the Lunar New Year
festivities there in mid-February and the European market also
showed only limited buying activity."
    * COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper had slipped
0.6 percent to $7,078.50 a tonne by 0723 GMT, eroding 1-percent
gains from the previous session. Shanghai Futures Exchange
copper closed 0.2-percent lower at 52,980 yuan 
($8,403) a tonne.
    * CHINA DEMAND: China's manufacturing sector sustained
growth at multi-month highs in January, a private business
survey showed on Thursday, as factories continued to raise
output to meet new orders, suggesting resilience in the world's
second-largest economy.
    * ASIA DEMAND: Asia's factories got off to a strong start in
2018, with manufacturing activity in many countries gaining
momentum and hitting multi-year highs as global demand for
hi-tech products remained strong.
    * NICKEL: London nickel, zinc and aluminium
 fell by around 0.7 percent as traders trim positions
ahead of the Lunar New Year.
    * MIXED: "It's been a mixed morning on base metals with
zinc, aluminium and nickel drifting lower on a lack of Asian
buying rather than any meaningful offer," broker Marex Spectron
said in a report.
    * COPPER SUPPLY: Chile produced slightly less copper in 2017
than it did the year before, the government said on Wednesday,
as output was dogged by a prolonged strike at BHP's
Escondida copper mine, the world's largest, early in the year.

    * TIN: LME tin halted a recent rise after
Indonesia's PT Timah said it was aiming for an
18-percent increase in output this year to around 36,700 tonnes,
with prices of the metal expected to be between $20,000 and
$22,000 per tonne.
    * LEAD: LME lead rallied 0.7 percent amid a crunch
on nearby metal supply. LME stocks have slumped by around 7
percent since early January to below 135,000 tonnes, a
three-year low.<0#LME-WHL> MPBSTX-TOTAL 
    * COMING UP: U.S. ISM manufacturing PMI Jan, U.S.
construction spending Dec at 1500 GMT    
 BASE METALS PRICES                   0717 GMT           
 Three month LME copper                              7080
 Most active ShFE copper                            52970
 Three month LME aluminium                           2207
 Most active ShFE aluminium                         14335
 Three month LME zinc                                3512
 Most active ShFE zinc                              26670
 Three month LME lead                                2624
 Most active ShFE lead                              19565
 Three month LME nickel                             13455
 Most active ShFE nickel                           102080
 Three month LME tin                                21670
 Most active ShFE tin                              149270
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                                   
 LME/SHFE COPPER                 LMESHFCUc3       1012.03
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM              LMESHFALc3      -1807.71
 LME/SHFE ZINC                   LMESHFZNc3         457.8
 LME/SHFE LEAD                   LMESHFPBc3        -358.7
 LME/SHFE NICKEL                 LMESHFNIc3       2046.31

($1 = 6.3048 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Joseph Radford and
Richard Pullin)
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