SINGAPORE, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Copper prices were almost unchanged on Friday, amid conflicting messages about the ongoing trade discussions between the United States and China.
U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday that U.S. and Chinese negotiators were holding "productive" trade talks and expected them to meet in September.
Meanwhile, China vowed to counter the latest U.S. tariffs but called on the United States to meet it halfway on a potential trade deal.
Prices of copper, seen as a gauge of economic health, have been hurt by the prolonged trade war between the world's two biggest economies and have fallen 3.6% so far this year on the London Metal Exchange (LME).
* PRICES: Three-month copper on the LME was almost unchanged at $5,750 a tonne by 0156 GMT, while Shanghai Futures Exchange's most-traded copper contract was nearly flat at 46,400 yuan ($6,591.19) a tonne.
* LYNAS: Malaysia on Thursday renewed the operating licence for a rare earths processing plant owned by miner Lynas Corp for six months with new conditions, an extension shorter than investors and industry analysts had expected.
* OTHER PRICES: London aluminium rose 0.2%, nickel edged up 0.1% while lead and tin fell 0.9% each. Shanghai aluminium rose 0.3%, nickel jumped 2.5% and lead rose 0.7%.
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* Asian shares were heading for weekly losses as conflicting messages on the Sino-U.S. trade war only added to worries for the global economy, while talk of aggressive central bank stimulus drove bond yields to fresh lows.
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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 = 7.0397 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Rashmi Aich)