October 12, 2018 / 2:08 AM / 5 days ago

METALS-London aluminium eyes 4 pct weekly fall, biggest since June

MELBOURNE, Oct 12 (Reuters) - London aluminium steadied on Friday after metals were caught in a widespread market sell-off this week and ahead of Chinese trade data later in the session, but it was set for its biggest weekly drop since June as concerns over raw material costs eased.

FUNDAMENTALS

* ALUMINIUM: London Metal Exchange aluminium had edged up 0.3 percent to $2,027 a tonne by 0123 GMT - still holding above the $2,000 level that has been its base since April. Prices were on course for a loss of nearly 4 percent this week, extending 2018's drop to 11 percent.

* ALUMINA: Putting downward pressure on raw material costs, aluminium maker Norsk Hydro said it would resume half production at its giant Brazilian alumina plant, just days after declaring it would shut down completely.

* LME copper also found support at $6,253 a tonne by 0123 GMT, after closing flat in the previous session.

* Shanghai Futures Exchange copper rose half a percent to 50,450 yuan ($7,312) a tonne. Open interest in China's copper contract is the lowest in 15 months.

* TARIFFS: Canada does not hold out much hope that Washington will quickly lift tariffs that it imposed on steel and aluminum exports and is resisting a U.S. push to agree to strict quotas, two sources familiar with the matter said.

* LITHIUM: The LME said on Thursday that it had shortlisted Argus Media, Fastmarkets and Benchmark Mineral Intelligence to provide the price for the exchange's new lithium contract.

* TRAFIGURA: Copper producer Atalaya Mining, , which is backed by Swiss trading giant Trafigura, is looking for a buyer, two banking sources said on Thursday.

* TRADE WAR: U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Thursday there was much more he could do that would hurt China's economy further, showing no signs of backing off an escalating trade war with Beijing.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or

MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares appeared tentative on Friday, holding steady after a nine-day losing streak, but sentiment was frail after Wall Street shares crumbled and expectations of market volatility shot up to an eight-month high.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

* China Trade data Sep

0900 Euro zone Industrial production Aug

1230 U.S. Import prices Sep

1230 U.S. Export prices Sep

1400 U.S. Univ of Michigan sentiment index Oct

*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 = 6.8994 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Melanie Burton Editing by Joseph Radford

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