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METALS-Copper, zinc hit 2019 highs on trade talk optimism

(Adds Shanghai closing prices, updates London prices) BEIJING, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Base metals prices rose on Friday, with London copper and zinc both hitting their highest level so far this year, on optimism that the United States and top metals consumer China are closer to resolving their long-running trade dispute. Copper is on course to add 1.4 percent this week to mark its biggest weekly gain since the week ended Nov. 16, 2018. "Until China's new smelting capacity comes into operation, the spot market will be relatively tight," Chinese brokerage Huatai Futures wrote in a note, adding that supply disruptions in top copper producer Chile were supporting short-term fundamentals. Analysts estimate as much as 1 million tonnes of copper smelting capacity will come on stream in China this year.


* LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 0.8 percent to $6,037 a tonne, the most since Dec. 31, and stood at $6,023.50 as of 0729 GMT.

* SHFE COPPER: The most-traded March copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 1.1 percent at 47,860 yuan ($7,070.57) a tonne, having hit its highest since Jan. 2, and added 1 percent over the week, its best weekly performance since October.

* TRADE: Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will visit the United States on Jan. 30 and 31 for the next round of trade talks.

* ZINC: LME zinc also hit a 2019 high of $2,565 a tonne, the most since Dec. 20, and was trading up 0.6 percent. Shanghai zinc closed up 3 percent at 21,480 yuan a tonne, its highest close since Oct. 25.

* ZINC: "The increase in zinc ingot stocks at home and abroad is less than expected, supporting prices," Chinese brokerage Industrial Futures said in a note.

* RUSAL: The U.S. House of Representatives backed legislation to keep sanctions on companies including aluminum firm Rusal but the Trump administration is expected to lift them as soon as Friday.

* LME: The LME will launch seven new cash-settled futures contracts on March 11, including hot-rolled coil steel and alumina.

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* Asian stocks rose across the board on Friday as a report of progress in U.S.-China trade talks stirred hopes of a deal in their tariff dispute and supported risk sentiment.


BASE METALS PRICES 0729 GMTThree month LME copper 6023.5Most active ShFE copper 47850Three month LME aluminum 1859Most active ShFE aluminum 13470Three month LME zinc 2560Most active ShFE zinc 21475Three month LME lead 1972.5Most active ShFE lead 17700Three month LME nickel 11670Most active ShFE nickel 94060Three month LME tin 20585Most active ShFE tin 147960



($1 = 6.7689 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Tom Daly; Edited by Shreejay Sinha, Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Rashmi Aich)