October 16, 2017 / 2:21 AM / a year ago

METALS-Copper consolidates after China's strong imports

    MELBOURNE, Oct 16 (Reuters) - London copper prices eased on
Monday but stayed near three-year highs, underpinned by a rise
in oil prices, after China's copper imports surged in September.
    * LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper eased by
0.2 percent to $6,866 by 0155 GMT, after closing little changed
in the previous session when prices struck the highest in a
month at $6,918.50 a tonne and closed in on a three-year top of
$6,970 a tonne hit on Sept 5.
    * SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper
slipped by 0.3 percent to 53,240 yuan ($8,093) a tonne. It had
pushed to 53,750 late on Friday, which was its most expensive
since Feb 2013.
    * CHINA COPPER: China's unwrought copper imports surged by
26.5 percent in September from a year ago, customs data showed
on Friday, but remained on course for an annual drop in 2017.
    * CHINA ECONOMY: China's economy is expected to grow 7
percent in the second half of this year, the country's central
bank governor said, accelerating from the first six months and
defying economists' expectations for a slowdown.
    * OIL: Supporting oil prices, Iraqi forces began moving at
midnight on Sunday towards oil fields held by Kurdish Peshmerga
fighters near the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

    * ALUMINIUM: The Chinese city of Binzhou, home to top global
aluminium producer China Hongqiao Group, has ordered
the closure of around 2.57 million tonnes of smelting capacity
this winter, according to Reuters calculations based on
government document.
    * COPPER, ALUMINIUM: In a potential boost to U.S. copper
demand, the Trump administration is requiring the use of North
American-made steel, aluminum, copper and plastic resins in cars
and trucks sold under North American Free Trade Agreement rules,
as it seeks to give U.S. industry a boost.
    * COPPER INVESTORS: Hedge funds and money managers reduced
their net long position in COMEX gold contracts for the fourth
straight week, in the week to Oct. 10, U.S. Commodity Futures
Trading Commission data showed on Friday.
     They raised their net long positions in copper futures and
options for the first time in five weeks, the data showed.

     * LME nickel slipped by half a percent, having
rallied 2.5 percent on Friday, supported by prospects that
China's pollution crackdown over winter could hit supply.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    * Asian shares advanced to new highs on Monday following
Wall Street's lead, while U.S. oil futures jumped to hover near
a six-month peak as escalating tensions between the Iraqi
government and Kurdish forces threatened supply.    
    0900  Euro zone Eurostat trade Aug
    1230  U.S. New York Fed manufacturing Oct     
 BASE METALS PRICES               0131 GMT         
 Three month LME copper                      6864.5
 Most active ShFE copper                      53230
 Three month LME aluminium                     2143
 Most active ShFE aluminium                   16585
 Three month LME zinc                        3231.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                        25955
 Three month LME lead                          2540
 Most active ShFE lead                        20595
 Three month LME nickel                       11630
 Most active ShFE nickel                      92850
 Three month LME tin                          20700
 Most active ShFE tin                        147120
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                             
 LME/SHFE COPPER             LMESHFCUc3       314.6
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM          LMESHFALc3      139.82
 LME/SHFE ZINC               LMESHFZNc3      557.82
 LME/SHFE LEAD               LMESHFPBc3      -67.27
 LME/SHFE NICKEL             LMESHFNIc3     2206.95

($1 = 6.5789 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Sonali Paul)
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