August 8, 2018 / 1:52 AM / 4 months ago

METALS-Copper gains as dollar rally wanes, nickel at 1-week high

MANILA, Aug 8 (Reuters) - London copper ticked higher on Wednesday as the dollar weakened against a basket of major currencies as its recent rally fueled by U.S.-China trade tensions appeared to fizzle, with nickel hitting a one-week peak.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.2 percent at $6,190 a tonne by 0143 GMT, gaining for a second session in a row. The most-traded October copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.3 percent to 49,550 yuan ($7,286) a tonne.

The dollar inched down versus a basket of currencies, making dollar-denominated assets like copper cheaper for holders of other currencies, even after the U.S. Trade Representative's office said the U.S. would begin collecting 25 percent tariffs on another $16 billion in Chinese goods later this month.

* CHINA DATA: China will release trade data later, with economists predicting exports maintained solid growth in July despite new tariffs on billions of dollars of shipments to the United States.

* NICKEL: All other base metals also rose, with nickel rising as far as $13,935 a tonne, a one-week high. Zinc gained 0.6 percent to $2,615.50 a tonne and aluminium was up 0.2 percent at $2,042.50.

* ESCONDIDA: The union at Chile's Escondida copper mine, the world's largest, said that BHP must alter its negotiating strategy and improve its contract offer during a final phase of talks if it hoped to avoid a strike.

* LITHIUM: Chile's exports of lithium carbonate reached $85 million in July, more than double that of the same month the previous year, as demand and prices for the key component in electric vehicle batteries continues to rise.

* MARKETS: Asian shares rose on the back of firmer Wall Street earnings and expectations for increased Chinese stimulus, while oil prices held steady.

DATA AHEAD

* China Trade data Jul

*No fixed timing

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 = 6.8006 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; editing by Richard Pullin

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