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METALS-Base metals rise as trade war fears fade

(Adds broker comment; updates prices) BEIJING, March 27 (Reuters) - Base metal prices climbed on Tuesday, lifted by a rebound in equities on hopes that a trade war between top metals consumer China and the United States may be avoided. Senior U.S. officials are asking China to cut tariffs on imported cars, allow foreign majority ownership of financial services firms and buy more U.S.-made semiconductors in negotiations to avoid plans to slap tariffs on a host of Chinese goods. "With headlines... becoming slightly less negative it seems people have been encouraged to unwind the armageddon trade and this is seeing short-covering across the board both West and in Asia," broker Marex Spectron said in a note. Metals prices had fallen to multi-month lows last week after U.S. President Donald Trump announced plans to impose tariffs on up to $60 billion of Chinese goods, and Beijing threatened to respond.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 1.5 percent to $6,698.50 a tonne by 0710 GMT, having touched a low of $6,532 in the previous session, its weakest since early December.

* SHFE COPPER: The most traded May contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) closed up 0.1 percent at 49,620 yuan ($7,938.56) a tonne.

* USD: The U.S. dollar index was flat at 89.01, having hit a five-week low against a basket of major currencies late on Monday. A weaker dollar makes metals cheaper for holders of other currencies, supporting prices.

* CHILE: Workers at Antofagasta Plc's Los Pelambres copper mine in Chile reached an agreement on a new labour contract, defusing the risk of a strike, the union said on Monday.

* STRIKES: With several other key labour contracts up for renewal, the "risk of copper supply disruptions due to strikes is still high as workers demand higher wages while mining companies are in austerity mode and strongly against locking in higher fixed costs in perpetuity," Jefferies said.

* ALUMINIUM: Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro said it would release on April 9 conclusions from its internal review and a review it ordered from green consultancy SGW Services on spills that took place at its Alunorte alumina refinery in Brazil.

* OTHER METALS: Zinc was trading 0.8 percent higher in London and closed up 1.4 percent in Shanghai. Nickel was the only base metal to fall in Shanghai, closing down 0.4 percent after customs data on Monday showed China's refined nickel imports fell 7.9 percent in February.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian share markets sprang higher on Tuesday as reports of behind-the-scenes talks between the United States and China rekindled hopes that a damaging trade war could be averted, in turn sapping life from the dollar and yen.

PRICES

BASE METALS PRICES 0710 GMT Three month LME copper 6698.5 Most active ShFE copper 49620 Three month LME aluminium 2069.5 Most active ShFE aluminium 13820 Three month LME zinc 3290 Most active ShFE zinc 24945 Three month LME lead 2398 Most active ShFE lead 18570 Three month LME nickel 13165 Most active ShFE nickel 97680 Three month LME tin 20870 Most active ShFE tin 141760

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE

LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 879.34 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -1201.15 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 522.07 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 323.83 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 698.63

(Reporting by Tom Daly Editing by Biju Dwarakanath and Amrutha Gayathri)