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METALS-London copper hovers at two-year low amid trade jitters

Mai Nguyen

(Recasts, adds details and updates prices) SINGAPORE, Aug 7 (Reuters) - London copper prices on Wednesday struggled to rebound from a two-year low as markets remained fragile with barely any signs of progress in the year-long trade negotiations between the United States and China. U.S. President Donald Trump pledged to stand with American farmers in the face of Chinese retaliation, after Beijing halted U.S. farm purchases and raised the possibility of additional tariffs on U.S. farm products in response to new tariffs.

London copper rose as much as 0.7% in early Asian

hours on hopes of further U.S.-China trade negotiations, but retreated to gain only 0.1% at $5,690 a tonne, as of 0427 GMT. On Monday, prices of the metal used widely as a gauge of economic health hit $5,640 a tonne, its lowest since June 2017.

Meanwhile, Shanghai copper eased 0.1% to 46,070

yuan ($6,539.58) a tonne.

FUNDAMENTALS

* TRADE TALKS: White House National Economic Council director Larry Kudlow told CNBC that the Trump administration was still planning to host a Chinese delegation for talks in September, while steps taken by Chinese authorities to contain a sliding yuan also helped calm fears of a full-blown trade and currency war.

* CHINA POLL: China's exports probably fell for a second successive month, while imports likely contracted more sharply in July, a Reuters poll showed, hurt by tit-for-tat tariffs in a rapidly escalating trade war with the United States.

* LME: The London Metal Exchange is poised to extend its closing open-outcry trading sessions for all metals after volumes jumped in a three-month trial, denting expectations of an eventual move to full electronic trading.

* GLENCORE/COBALT: Glencore Plc will halt production at Mutanda mine, the world's largest cobalt mine, from the end of this year after a slump in prices for cobalt, Financial Times reported on Tuesday.

* PRICES: London aluminum rose 0.3%, nickel

fell 0.3%, while lead dropped 0.6%. In Shanghai,aluminum eased 0.2%, zinc dropped 1.1%, whilelead rallied 1%.* LEAD: "Both primary and secondary lead are in deficit, and

smelters' enthusiasm for production is not good, so supply may be reduced, " said a lead smelter.

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

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 = 7.0448 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Additional reporting by Tom Daly in Beijing; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)