March 7, 2018 / 3:13 AM / 15 days ago

METALS-Metal prices slip on concerns of U.S.-led trade war

    MELBOURNE, March 7 (Reuters) - London metals slipped on
Wednesday on heightened fears of a trade war that could derail
global growth after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would
push ahead with his plan to impose heavy tariffs on steel and
aluminium imports. 
    * London Metal Exchange copper slipped by 0.5
percent to $6,971 a tonne by 0223 GMT, paring a 1.4 percent gain
from the previous session. Prices have traded in a $6,850-$7,250
range since mid-February, bumping up against four-year highs, as
global manufacturing has ramped up to feed construction and
power industries in Europe, China and the United States.   
    * Shanghai Futures Exchange copper edged up by 0.3
percent to 52,530 yuan ($8,302) a tonne.
    * U.S. ECONOMY: Economic nationalists appeared to gain the
upper hand in a White House battle over trade with the
resignation of Donald Trump's top economic adviser, Gary Cohn,
on Tuesday in a move that could ramp up protectionist measures
and risk igniting a global trade war.
    * COPPER: "A softer dollar brought copper up above $7,000
last night but I think fear is on again," said a trader in
    * DOLLAR: The dollar extended its latest retreat on
Wednesday after Gary Cohn announced his resignation.
    * CHINA ECONOMY: China is fully confident of its ability to
fend off systemic debt risks while authorities expect no
significant changes in government debt ratio in the coming
years, finance minister Xiao Jie said on Wednesday.
    * ZINC: Brazilian miner Nexa Resources
expects demand for zinc to outpace supply, keeping prices for
the metal at $3,400 to $3,500 a ton for the rest of the year,
Chief Executive Tito Martins said on Tuesday.
     * Premiums for zinc in Shanghai bond have sunk to the
weakest since May last year at $145-170, latest data shows,
after exchange stocks in the U.S. surged this week, soothing
supply concerns. ZN-BMPBW-SHMET 
    * U.S. ECONOMY: New orders for U.S.-made goods recorded
their biggest decline in six months in January and business
spending on equipment appeared to be slowing after strong growth
in 2017.
    * ALUMINA: A Brazilian court denied a request by Norwegian
aluminium maker Norsk Hydro ASA to resume full
operations at its unit Hydro Alunorte, the court said in a
statement, in the latest setback after allegations it had
contaminated water in the area.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    * Global stocks and the dollar slumped on Wednesday after
free-trade advocate and Trump adviser Gary Cohn announced his
resignation, fanning fears of a trade war.     
 BASE METALS PRICES             0158 GMT           
 Three month LME copper                      6959.5
 Most active ShFE copper                      52450
 Three month LME aluminium                   2143.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                   14400
 Three month LME zinc                        3310.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                        25440
 Three month LME lead                          2426
 Most active ShFE lead                        18730
 Three month LME nickel                       13520
 Most active ShFE nickel                     102400
 Three month LME tin                          21445
 Most active ShFE tin                        146400
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                             
 LME/SHFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc3    1096.73
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc3   -1363.79
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc3     620.32
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc3     113.17
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc3     1712.1

($1 = 6.3274 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
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