Wires

METALS-Copper slips on mixed signals from U.S.-China trade talks

(Adds comment, updates prices) BEIJING, Sept 23 (Reuters) - London copper prices edged lower on Monday, as mixed signals from the latest round of U.S.-China talks failed to yield signs of a breakthrough in the long-running trade row between the world's top two economies. Most industrial metals have lost ground so far in 2019 amid concerns the trade war will hurt demand, particularly in China, the world's top metals consumer. Chinese data for August shows the country's economy is "still sliding across the board," brokerage Jinrui Futures said in a note, adding that growth in real estate investment had fallen for four months in a row. However, the physical copper market was much firmer, with Yangshan premiums <SMM-CUYP-CN> - paid on top of the London price to secure delivery of metal into China - reaching as high as $90 a tonne on Friday, the highest since November. "Refined copper inventories continue to fall," Jinrui Futures said, expecting a tight balance in the fourth quarter. Copper inventories in warehouses monitored by the ShFE fell 7.1% from the previous week to 131,379 tonnes as of Friday.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange slipped 0.3% to $5,779.50 a tonne as of 0515 GMT, after ending a four-day losing streak with a 0.2% gain on Friday. The most-traded November copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was flat at 47,130 yuan ($6,625.52) a tonne.

* TRADE: A U.S.-China trade deal appeared elusive on Friday after Chinese officials unexpectedly canceled a visit to farms in Montana and Nebraska, as deputy trade negotiators wrapped up two days of negotiations in Washington, even as both sides said the talks were constructive.

* COPPER: Pan Pacific Copper, Japan's top copper smelter, expects a global shortage in copper to be less acute next year as China's output increases, a company official said.

* CHINA: China's imports of scrap metal in August dropped 13.8% from the previous month to 250,000 tonnes, the lowest monthly total since March, customs data showed on Monday.

* NICKEL: The metal used to make stainless steel was the only metal to rise on the LME, nudging up 0.3% to $17,500 a tonne and on track for a fourth straight day of gains. The premium of cash LME nickel over the three-month contract <CMNI0-3> hit a record high of $205 a tonne on Friday, indicating very tight near-term supply.

MARKETS NEWS

* Most Asian share markets slipped as investors waited for more clarity on the Sino-U.S. trade talks after recent negotiations.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0715 France Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs Sept0730 Germany Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs Sept0800 EU Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs Sept1330 Brazil Current Account, Foreign Direct Invest Aug1345 US Markit Mfg, Serv, Comp Flash PMIs Sept

PRICES 0519 GMT

Three month LME copper 5779Most active ShFE copper 47120Three month LME aluminum 1787Most active ShFE aluminum 14205Three month LME zinc 2296.5Most active ShFE zinc 18855Three month LME lead 2115Most active ShFE lead 16910Three month LME nickel 17505Most active ShFE nickel 138400Three month LME tin 16700Most active ShFE tin 137550LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 665.32LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -234.27LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 174.65LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 -692.46LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 -5232.3

($1 = 7.1134 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Rashmi Aich)