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METALS-Copper steady; zinc rises on demand boost ahead of Phase 1 trade deal

London copper prices steadied on Monday after falling sharply in the previous session, while zinc hit a two-week high as the soon-to-be signed Phase 1 trade deal between the United States and China boosted prospects of higher demand.

A Chinese delegation is planning to travel to Washington on Jan. 13 for the signing of the U.S.-China Phase 1 trade deal, the South China Morning Post reported on Sunday.

Monetary policy easing by Beijing and a better-than-expected manufacturing performance from China in December were also creating a favourable backdrop for copper, Argonaut Securities said in a note.

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was flat at $6,129 a tonne by 0740 GMT, after shedding 1% on Friday. The most-traded March copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed down 0.6% on 48,760 yuan ($6,990.58) a tonne.

* ZINC: The metal used to galvanise steel rose as much as much as 1.4% to $2,339 a tonne, its highest since Dec. 23 on concerns about falling stocks MZN-STOCKS, which stand at just 51,125 tonnes in LME-registered warehouses. ShFE zinc closed up 1.5% on 18,110 yuan a tonne.

* ZINC SPREAD: The premium of cash LME zinc over the three-month contract CMZNo-3 stood at $14.75 a tonne on Friday, the highest since Dec. 2, indicating tight near-term supply.

* COPPER: Canadian miner First Quantum Minerals Ltd is weighing investment of around $1 billion to lift output at Africa’s biggest copper mine in Zambia despite a feud with state miner ZCCM-IH over project funding.

* OTHER METALS: The LME complex was mixed, with aluminium slipping 0.4% and lead losing 0.5%. Nickel edged up 0.2& while added 0.3%.

* ALUMINIUM: Aluminium stocks held at three major Japanese ports AL-STK-JPPRT at the end of November were up 0.9% at 321,200 tonnes from the previous month, Marubeni Corp said.

* Tensions in the Middle East after the killing of a top Iranian general by the United States pushed an index of Asian shares off an 18-month high as investors pushed safe-haven gold near a seven-year high, and oil jumped to four-month peaks.

 BASE METALS PRICES                     0740 GMT
 Three month LME copper                   6128.5
 Most active ShFE copper                   48760
 Three month LME aluminium                1816.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                14105
 Three month LME zinc                       2327
 Most active ShFE zinc                     18110
 Three month LME lead                       1910
 Most active ShFE lead                     14755
 Three month LME nickel                    13790
 Most active ShFE nickel                  108190
 Three month LME tin                       16850
 Most active ShFE tin                     134570
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                          
 LME/SHFE COPPER             LMESHFCUc     519.8
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM          LMESHFALc   -396.08
 LME/SHFE ZINC               LMESHFZNc   -422.09
 LME/SHFE LEAD               LMESHFPBc   -710.97
 LME/SHFE NICKEL             LMESHFNIc  -2748.14

($1 = 6.9751 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Source: Hellenic Shipping news world wide

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