August 1, 2018 / 2:03 AM / 17 days ago

METALS-London copper starts August weaker on U.S. tariff plan

MANILA, Aug 1 (Reuters) - London copper edged lower on Wednesday, after losing nearly 5 percent last month, with risk appetite curbed by news that the Trump administration may propose a higher 25 percent tariff on $200 billion of Chinese imports.

President Donald Trump's government had initially announced it would seek to impose a tariff of 10 percent, and raising the level to 25 percent would escalate the dispute over trade between the world's two biggest economies.

A source familiar with the plan said the administration could announce the tougher proposal as early as Wednesday.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.5 percent at $6,271 a tonne by 0145 GMT, after falling 4.9 percent in July. The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained 0.4 percent to 49,980 yuan ($7,337) per tonne.

* ESCONDIDA: Union members at BHP's Escondida mine in Chile, the world's largest copper mine, have until Wednesday to finish voting on the company's final contract offer. A union leader on Monday said the group is expected to overwhelmingly reject BHP's offer, increasing the likelihood of a strike.

* CASERONES: The main union at Chile's Caserones mine has rejected operator Lumina Copper's final contract offer and workers have approved strike action, the union's president said.

* VEDANTA: Vedanta Resources Plc Chairman Anil Agarwal's family trust on Tuesday offered about $1 billion in cash to take the London-listed miner private.

* GLENCORE: Glencore cut full-year guidance for its lead and coal output, while first-half copper production rose 8 percent from a year earlier and cobalt increased 31 percent as operations ramped up in Democratic Republic of Congo.

* CURRENCIES: The Chinese yuan dropped in offshore trade and the Australian dollar slipped on a report the U.S. administration will propose raising its planned tariffs on $200 billion of Chinese imports to 25 percent.

DATA/EVENT AHEAD (GMT)

0145 China Caixin manufacturing PMI final Jul

0750 France Markit manufacturing PMI Jul

0750 Germany Markit/BME manufacturing PMI Jul

0800 Euro zone Markit manufacturing PMI Jul

1215 U.S. ADP national employment Jul

1400 U.S. Construction spending Jun

1400 U.S. ISM manufacturing PMI Jul

1800 U.S. Federal Reserve releases policy statement after

two-day meeting

PRICES

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 = 6.8119 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; editing by Richard Pullin

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