March 31, 2017 / 2:22 AM / in 7 months

METALS-Copper eyes second quarterly gain as supplies dwindle

MELBOURNE, March 31 (Reuters) - London copper slipped on Friday but was set to finish a second quarter higher lifted by kinks in mine supply, while a ramp-up in factory activity and fresh investor buys are expected to drive prices higher in the second quarter.

FUNDAMENTALS

* London Metal Exchange copper fell by 1 percent to $5897.50 a tonne, as of 0200 GMT, as immediate supply threats eased. But prices were on track for a 6.5-percent gain for the first quarter following a 14-percent rise in the fourth quarter of last year.

* Shanghai Futures Exchange copper edged up by 0.3 percent to 47640 yuan ($6,905) a tonne.

* Activity in China’s manufacturing sector unexpectedly expanded at the fastest pace in nearly 5 years in March, adding to evidence that the world’s second-largest economy has gained momentum early this year, an official survey showed on Friday.

* U.S. President Donald Trump set the tone for a tense first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping next week by tweeting on Thursday that the United States could no longer tolerate massive trade deficits and job losses.

* South Korea’s industrial output plunged at the fastest pace in more than eight years, government data showed on Friday, erasing gains seen in the previous month and dragged down by semiconductor production.

* Workers at Peru’s biggest copper mine, Freeport-McMoRan Inc’s Cerro Verde, will resume work on Friday after voting to end a nearly three-week strike that had halved output, the union said on Thursday.

* Freeport McMoRan Inc’s Indonesian unit is close to reaching a deal that would allow the world’s biggest publicly listed copper producer to temporarily resume concentrate exports, Indonesia’s mining minister said on Thursday.

* The failure of BHP Billiton and workers at its Escondida mine to agree on a wage deal after a long and bitter strike has stoked some concerns over the possible fate of other key contract talks at copper mines in Chile over the next year.

* LME nickel was on track to fall more than 8 percent for the month, snuffing out year to date gains, and the biggest loss since loss since 11 pct drop in December, on prospects of rising Indonesian supply.

* Indonesia’s state-owned miner Aneka Tambang (Antam) has been granted an initial approval to export up to 2.7 million tonnes of nickel ore over the next 12 months, a mining ministry official said on Wednesday.

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

MARKETS NEWS

* The dollar extended its overnight gains in early Asian trade on Friday on signs of strong U.S. economic growth, while the euro inched up after sliding overnight on data suggesting slowing growth in Europe.

DATA/EVENTS

0600 Germany Retail sales Feb

0645 France Consumer spending Feb

0645 France Producer prices Feb

0800 Germany Unemployment rate Mar

0830 Britain GDP Q4

0900 Euro zone Inflation flash Mar

1230 U.S. Personal income Feb

1345 U.S. Chicago PMI Mar

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 = 6.8995 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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