May 23, 2018 / 2:49 AM / a year ago

METALS-Copper slips as Trump curbs optimism over U.S.-China trade talks

 (Adds Marex Spectron comment, updates prices)
    By Manolo Serapio Jr
    MANILA, May 23 (Reuters) - London copper futures edged lower
on Wednesday, pulling back from the previous session's nearly
one-month peak, after U.S. President Donald Trump said he was
not pleased with recent trade talks between the United States
and China.
    His comments on Tuesday came after U.S. Treasury Secretary
Steven Mnuchin said over the weekend that the two countries had
put the prospect of a trade war "on hold" while they work on a
wider trade agreement, which helped revive appetite for riskier
    "The shifting sands of trade talks between U.S. and China is
likely to see commodities remain volatile," ANZ analysts said in
a note.
    Except for tin, all London metals and most in Shanghai fell
as "Asian long liquidation and speculative selling was the
dominant theme," said Matt France, head of institutional sales
for Asia metals at Marex Spectron.
    COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
 was down 0.7 percent at $6,927.50 a tonne by 0708 GMT,
after peaking at $6,999 on Tuesday, its loftiest since April 26.
In Shanghai, the most-traded July copper contract on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange tracked overnight gains in
London, closing up 0.6 percent at 51,770 yuan ($8,112) a tonne.
    GRASBERG: Global miner Rio Tinto Ltd said it was in
discussions to sell its interest in the world's second largest
copper mine to Indonesia's state mining holding company Inalum.

    LEAD: LME lead retreated from a 12-week high, down
0.6 percent to $2,460 a tonne, after what analysts said was a
rally driven by Chinese speculators on Tuesday as they bet on
potential supply shortages. In Shanghai, lead slipped
0.1 percent to 20,200 yuan per tonne, after hitting 20,465 yuan
on Tuesday, its strongest since October 2017.
    NICKEL: LME nickel fell 0.7 percent to $14,670 a
tonne after recent gains. Nickel remains the best performer
among base metals, with a year-to-date gain of 15 percent.
    LME nickel stockpiles are the lowest since 2014, underlining
a deficit in the metal used for stainless steel. "Sentiment has
been buoyed by strong demand from the stainless steel sector, as
well as growing demand from the electric vehicle market," ANZ
analysts said. 
    NORTH KOREA TALKS: Trump said there was a "substantial
chance" his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will not
take place as planned on June 12 amid concerns that Kim is
resistant to giving up his nuclear weapons.
    MARKETS: The dollar edged higher versus a basket of
currencies ahead of the release of the minutes of the Federal
Reserve's last policy meeting for hints on the pace of further
U.S. monetary tightening.
 BASE METALS PRICES                                  0708 GMT
 Three month LME copper                                6927.5
 Most active ShFE copper                                51770
 Three month LME aluminium                             2258.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                             14600
 Three month LME zinc                                  3041.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                                  23600
 Three month LME lead                                    2460
 Most active ShFE lead                                  20200
 Three month LME nickel                                 14670
 Most active ShFE nickel                               108410
 Three month LME tin                                    20665
 Most active ShFE tin                                  147150
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                                       
 LME/SHFE COPPER                LMESHFCUc3             292.87
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM             LMESHFALc3            -2153.2
 LME/SHFE ZINC                  LMESHFZNc3             554.15
 LME/SHFE LEAD                  LMESHFPBc3             291.27
 LME/SHFE NICKEL                LMESHFNIc3           -2858.77
 ($1 = 6.3822 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri)
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