June 27, 2019 / 2:00 AM / a month ago

METALS-Copper treads water ahead of Trump-Xi meeting

SINGAPORE, June 27 (Reuters) - Copper traded almost unchanged on Thursday, as investors exercised caution ahead of a meeting between U.S. and Chinese presidents later this week.

Copper is widely used in construction and manufacturing and is seen by investors as a gauge of economic health. A stand-off between the United States and China, the world's top two economies, has been hurting copper prices.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that a trade deal with Chinese President Xi Jinping was possible this weekend, but he stressed that he was prepared to impose U.S. tariffs on virtually all remaining Chinese imports if the two countries continue to disagree.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged up 0.1% to $5,993.50 a tonne by 0143 GMT, after hitting a five-week high in the previous session on hopes of a trade deal.

FUNDAMENTALS

* CHUQUICAMATA: Unions at Chile's Chuquicamata mine have asked Codelco, the world's largest copper producer, to resubmit the offer their workers voted down last weekend, a union leader said.

* CHINA: State television reported that China would roll out more measures to cut financing costs for smaller companies, which are vital for the 1.4-billion-people nation's employment and growth amid a bruising trade war with the United States.

* RARE EARTH: Australia's Lynas Corp said it signed a 10-year loan extension on easier terms with its long-time Japanese backers, increasing its commitment to supply rare earths to Japanese customers.

* COPPER: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday it would reconsider a 2014 decision that had stopped development of Alaska's Pebble Mine, the world's biggest undeveloped copper and gold project.

* PRICES: Benchmark aluminium fell 0.1%, nickel eased 0.2%, while zinc edged up 0.1%. In Shanghai, copper dropped 0.4% to 47,150 yuan ($6,853.40) a tonne, while nickel rose 0.9%.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian markets were busy going nowhere as confusion shrouded the chances of any progress in the Sino-U.S. trade standoff, while bulls scaled back wagers for a drastic cut in U.S. interest rates.

DATA/EVENTS

0900 EU Consumer Confid. Final June

1100 Brazil IGP-M Inflation Index June

1200 Germany CPI Prelim YY June

1200 Germany HICP Prelim YY June

1230 US GDP Final Q1

1230 US Initial Jobless Claims Weekly

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 = 6.8798 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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