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METALS-London copper sheds gains as China auto sales continue to dive

(Recasts to include China auto sales data, details and updates prices) BEIJING, Sept 11 (Reuters) - London copper gave up gains to trade lower on Wednesday, after China's auto sales fell for a 14th consecutive month, dampening earlier sentiment over a potential thaw in the U.S.-China trade dispute. China's total auto sales fell 6.9% from the same month a year earlier to 1.96 million, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers said, adding that sales of copper-intensive new energy vehicles fell for a second month in a row by 15.8%. The market was previously supported by concerns about a mining strike in Peru, even as an industry association said mine output in the world's No. 2 copper producer had not been affected, while China moved to exempt 16 types of U.S. products from additional retaliatory tariffs. LME copper inventories are at their lowest level since mid-August at 310,350 tonnes, ANZ said in a note, adding that demand indicators, including from the autos sector, were nonetheless still showing weakness.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.2% at $5,815 a tonne, as of 0751 GMT, after earlier rising as much as 0.2%. The most-traded November copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed down 0.2% on 47,290 yuan ($6,645.59) a tonne.

* COPPER: Refined copper cathode production by major Chinese smelters fell by 0.5% in August from a month earlier, according to a survey of producers by research house Antaike.

* CHINA: China on Wednesday moved to exempt 16 types of U.S. products from additional retaliatory tariffs, including whey and fish meal, which are fed to animals, and some lubricants, according to a statement from the Ministry of Finance.

* ZINC: The metal used to galvanise steel rose as much as 1.3% to $2,368.50 a tonne in London, its highest since Aug. 2.

* NICKEL: Indonesian state miner Aneka Tambang (Antam) will propose to the government to extend until the end of the year its export permit for 1 million tonnes to 1.2 million tonnes of nickel ore that is due to expire in October, its commerce director said on Wednesday.

* NICKEL: The Philippines' mining watchdog has recommended lifting the suspension of a small-sized nickel miner, one of several ore producers ordered in 2016 to halt operations in an industry-wide crackdown, a senior government official said on Wednesday.

* RUSSIA: Russian aluminium and nickel exports rose in the first seven months of 2019, while copper exports declined, official customs data showed.

MARKETS NEWS

* Bond yields climbed and stock markets held steady, as hopes of easing U.S.-China tensions and diminished risk of a no-deal Brexit prompted traders to take profit before key central bank meetings.

PRICES

BASE METALS PRICES 0759 GMTThree month LME copper 5805Most active ShFE copper 47290Three month LME aluminium 1824.5Most active ShFE aluminium 14410Three month LME zinc 2362.5Most active ShFE zinc 19265Three month LME lead 2100.5Most active ShFE lead 17370Three month LME nickel 18145Most active ShFE nickel 143970Three month LME tin 17335Most active ShFE tin 139840

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE

LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 620.4LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -276.4LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 41.93LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 -297.38LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 -4885.68

($1 = 7.1160 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Tom Daly, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Subhranshu Sahu)