May 24, 2019 / 4:36 AM / in 2 months

METALS-Copper rises but heading for 6th week of declines

(Updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, May 24 (Reuters) - Copper rebounded on Friday on weaker U.S. dollar, but was heading for its sixth straight week of losses on a prolonged U.S.-China trade war.

China said the United States needs to correct its “wrong actions” in order to continue trade talks, while U.S. President Donald Trump said Huawei could be included in the trade deal after banning U.S. firms to work with the Chinese telecoms giant.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.5% to $5,957 a tonne by 0851 GMT, but on a weekly basis, London copper is heading for its sixth consecutive decline.

The metals market gained some support as the dollar fell from a two-year high overnight on fears that a trade war with China will hurt the U.S. economy more than expected and on expectations of a rate cut.

A weaker dollar makes dollar-denominated metals cheaper to importers using other currencies.

London nickel jumped as much as 4.7% to $12,460 a tonne, its highest since April 30, and Shanghai nickel also touched a six-week high of 102,830 yuan a tonne during trading hours before easing slightly to end at 99,990 yuan.

London nickel surged after a break of the 200-day moving average around $12,275. Traders and an analyst said short covering on ShFE and the LME fuelled upward momentum.

“Today is ShFE last trading day for June cargo,” said one of the trader.

“LME nickel may retest a resistance at $12,490, a break above which could lead to a gain to $12,963. The metal is riding on a wave C from $11,725, which is capable of at least travelling to $12,963, its 38.2% projection level,” said Reuters technical commodity analyst Wang Tao.

FUNDAMENTALS

* NICKEL: Fitch on Friday lowered their London three-month nickel average price forecast for 2019 to $13,250 a tonne, from $14,500 estimated earlier, on rising global economic risks, an escalating trade dispute and disappointing refined nickel demand from China so far this year.

* CHINA: China’s commerce ministry said that more efforts should be made to achieve the goal of stabilising trade while improving its quality, adding that the trade environment is growing more uncertain and challenging.

* SQM: Chile’s SQM, the world’s No. 2 producer of lithium, said it would delay a key expansion of production capacity from the Atacama salt flat until the end of 2021 amid a slump in prices for the coveted battery metal.

* ALUMINIUM: Zhang Shipping, who oversaw the rise of China Hongqiao Group into the world’s biggest aluminium producer, died on Thursday at the age of 73, the company said.

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

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

Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Singapore; Additional reporting by Pratima Desai in London; Editing by Shreejay Sinha and Gopakumar Warrier

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