July 25, 2018 / 5:16 AM / 3 months ago

METALS-Shanghai copper jumps as Escondida makes final wage offer

 (Adds Shanghai closing prices, updates London prices)
    BEIJING, July 25 (Reuters) - Shanghai copper hit a
three-week high on Wednesday, tracking Tuesday's gain in London
Metal Exchange prices as the prospect of a strike at the world's
largest copper mine loomed large.
    BHP's Escondida mine in Chile said on Tuesday it had made a
final offer in talks with the union representing its
rank-and-file workers that includes a beefed-up contract signing
bonus and a 1.5 percent increase in wages.
    Speculation last month about a possible strike at Escondida
pushed London copper to a near 4-1/2-year high of $7,348 a tonne
on June 7, before fears that a U.S.-China trade war could crimp
demand pushed the price below $6,000 tonne last week.
    The LME complex was lower on Wednesday, giving up some of
the gains made in the previous session on hopes a more vigorous
Chinese fiscal policy would spur growth.
    "Today's lack of activity in the Asian session would ...
seem to point to the market simply having a short-covering rally
and the question is will we see the prices drifting back down
now the correction has happened?" Malcolm Freeman, CEO of
Kingdom Futures, wrote in a note.
            
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * SHFE COPPER: The most-traded September copper contract on
the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed as much as 2.2
percent to 50,270 yuan a tonne, the highest since July 5, before
closing up 1.4 percent at 49,910 a tonne.
    * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the LME edged
down 0.6 percent to $6,255.50 a tonne, as of 0741 GMT, after a
2.7 percent jump in the previous session.
    * CHILE: Antofagasta on Wednesday reported a 6.1 percent
increase in second-quarter copper production and a fall in
costs, a trend the miner said would to continue for the rest of
the year.
    * DRC: A computer system used by customs officials in
Democratic Republic of Congo had technical problems at the
weekend, adding to delays to mining trucks carrying copper and
cobalt, sources and officials said on Tuesday. {nL5N1UK2X2]
    * BRAZIL: Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro
 said the timing for resuming full output at its
Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil remained uncertain, with the
possibility it could be achieved between October and the middle
of next year.
            
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    MARKETS NEWS    
    * Asian stocks were higher on Wednesday, supported by strong
Wall Street earnings and hopes China's government spending would
boost growth but trade tensions remain in focus ahead of a
meeting between the U.S. and European Commission presidents.
    
        
    PRICES
 BASE METALS PRICES                        0741 GMT
 Three month LME copper                        6254
 Most active ShFE copper                      49890
 Three month LME aluminium                     2072
 Most active ShFE aluminium                   14370
 Three month LME zinc                       2594.75
 Most active ShFE zinc                        21445
 Three month LME lead                          2162
 Most active ShFE lead                        18805
 Three month LME nickel                       13575
 Most active ShFE nickel                     110920
 Three month LME tin                          19620
 Most active ShFE tin                        145460
                                                   
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                             
 LME/SHFE COPPER             LMESHFCUc3      786.86
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM          LMESHFALc3    -1846.68
 LME/SHFE ZINC               LMESHFZNc3      639.83
 LME/SHFE LEAD               LMESHFPBc3      910.68
 LME/SHFE NICKEL             LMESHFNIc3     2813.68
 ($1 = 6.7991 Chinese yuan)

    
 (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Vyas Mohan and Subhranshu
Sahu)
  
 
 
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