Wires

METALS-Copper ticks up, set for second straight weekly drop on demand worries

(Adds UBS comment; updates prices) SINGAPORE/BEIJING, Sept 27 (Reuters) - London copper ticked higher on Friday on signs of progress towards a trade deal between the world's two largest economies, but was set to post a weekly decline on concerns over Chinese demand. CNBC reported that trade talks between the United States and China were scheduled for Oct. 10-11 in Washington, citing people familiar with the arrangements, while a senior Chinese diplomat said Beijing was willing to buy more U.S. products. However, concerns over slowing growth in the world's top metals consumer, China, put copper on track for a fall of 1.1% this week, after a 3% decline last week. "At the current pace, our (global) demand growth estimates of 1.3% for 2019 and 2020 are at risk," UBS said of copper in a note on base metals. "The modest build-up in copper exchange inventories of about 150,000 tonnes this year reflects unplanned smelter shutdowns, facilitated by low treatment charges," it added, forecasting a slightly more than 2% increase in refined copper supply in 2020.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.2% at $5,735 a tonne, as of 0510 GMT, after closing 1.1% lower on Thursday. The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.6% to 46,840 yuan ($6,563.17) a tonne by the end of the morning session.

* OPEN INTEREST: Market open interest in ShFE copper, a measure of liquidity, stood at an over four month-low of 552,206 lots on Thursday, as investors with long positions exited the market ahead of a week-long holiday in China from Oct. 1.

* ALUMINIUM: Shanghai aluminum prices hit a six-week low of 13,920 yuan a tonne, below the 14,000 yuan threshold often considered a break-even price, amid concerns over weak demand and restrictions on fabricators in the run-up to the National Day celebrations.

* CHINA: China's factory activity is expected to have contracted for a fifth straight month in September, a Reuters poll showed.

* JAPAN: Japan's copper exports fell 9.7% year-on-year in August to around 49,000 tonnes, according to data released by the Ministry of Finance, while zinc exports jumped 57.8%.

* MINERALS: The United States on Thursday said nine countries have joined its initiative to help discover and develop reserves of minerals used to make electric vehicles, part of an effort to cut the world's reliance on China for the high-tech materials.

MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares slipped to three-week lows as the release of a whistleblower complaint against U.S. President Donald Trump added to uncertainties about the global economy.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0645 France CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY Sept0900 EU Consumer Confid. Final Sept1230 US Consumption, Adjusted MM Aug1230 US Durable Goods Aug1230 US U Mich Sentiment Final Sept

PRICES 0506 GMT

Three month LME copper 5734Most active ShFE copper 46820Three month LME aluminum 1742.5Most active ShFE aluminum 13975Three month LME zinc 2310.5Most active ShFE zinc 18735Three month LME lead 2097.5Most active ShFE lead 16905Three month LME nickel 17285Most active ShFE nickel 137050Three month LME tin 16405Most active ShFE tin 135770LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 605.81LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -117.08LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 -121.07LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 -589.47LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 -5154.15

($1 = 7.1368 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral in Singapore and Tom Daly in Beijing, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Aditya Soni)