Wires

METALS-Copper extends fall on escalating trade war tension

SINGAPORE, Aug 6 (Reuters) - London copper fell for the sixth straight session on Tuesday, hovering around a two-year low, as a year-long U.S.-China trade war escalated and the Chinese offshore yuan fell to an all-time low.

The U.S. Treasury Department said on Monday it had determined for the first time since 1994 that China was manipulating its currency, knocking the U.S. dollar sharply lower and sending China's offshore yuan to a record low.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.2% to $5,673 a tonne by 0142 GMT, hovering around its lowest since May 2017, while Shanghai copper edged up 0.2% to 46,060 yuan ($6,531.57) a tonne.

"The correlation between the yuan and copper has been relatively strong in recent times. Amid all the carnage, markets took little notice of supply-side issues," said ANZ in a note.

FUNDAMENTALS

* FREE TRADE: China is planning a pilot project to drop all duties and ease procedures at its Shanghai Free Trade Zone, sources said, as Beijing looks to position itself as a leader in promoting free trade amid its trade war with Washington.

* LEAD: Supply disruptions and historically low inventories are unlikely to mean shortages of the auto battery metal lead due to sliding demand in top consumer China, where growth is under pressure because of the U.S.-China trade dispute.

* COPPER: Proposed U.S. tariffs against the European Union over aircraft subsidies could concentrate market control over some supplies of copper alloy in the hands of a German-owned firm and hurt American businesses, U.S. industry players said.

* LYNAS: Malaysia plans to extend Lynas Corp's license to operate a rare earths processing plant, though it could be for a shorter duration than the usual three years, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said.

* BHP/NICKEL: BHP Group is expanding its nickel business and plans to ramp up sales for the fast-growing electric vehicle sector, Asset President Eddie Haegel said on Monday.

* RUSAL: Russian aluminum producer Rusal suspended operations at its Achinsk alumina plant on Monday and evacuated all but essential staff after a fire broke out a nearby Russian military base, Rusal said.

* PRICES: London aluminum edged up 0.2%, nickel rose 0.8% and zinc advanced 0.6%. In Shanghai, aluminum increased 0.5%, nickel jumped 2.4% while zinc eased 0.1%.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Global stocks extended their already substantial losses and the offshore yuan hit an all-time low after Washington designated Beijing a currency manipulator in a rapid escalation of the U.S.-China trade war.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0130 Australia Trade Balance G&S June

0430 Australia RBA Cash Rate Aug

0600 Germany Industrial Orders MM June

PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminum

Most active ShFE aluminum

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

ARBS ($1 = 7.0519 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Rashmi Aich)