Wires

METALS-Copper slips as U.S. official warns of trade deal delay

Peter Hobson

(Updates throughout, moves dateline from SINGAPORE)

LONDON, Oct 30 (Reuters) - Copper prices fell on Wednesday after a U.S. official dampened hopes that a trade deal with China will soon be announced and a big delivery into London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses pointed to ample supply.

Benchmark copper on the LME was down 0.4% at $5,905 a tonne at 1114 GMT.

The U.S.-China trade dispute has slowed global economic growth, pushing prices of the metal used in power and construction down some 20% since June last year.

"Prices are likely to move sideways until we get some sort of trade deal confirmed," said Nitesh Shah, an analyst at WisdomTree.

TRADE WAR: An interim trade agreement between the United States and China might not be completed in time for signing in Chile next month as expected, a U.S. official said, stressing this does not mean the accord is falling apart.

COPPER STOCKS: Headline stocks in LME-registered warehouses rose by 19,575 tonnes to 270,325 tonnes. Inventories have nearly doubled since the start of the year, suggesting that supply is adequate. <MCUSTX-TOTAL>

FUNDAMENTALS: The roughly 25-million tonne a year copper market should see a deficit of 320,000 tonnes this year and a surplus of 281,000 tonnes in 2020, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said last week.

CHILE DISRUPTION: BHP said its Escondida copper mine, the world's largest, was operating at a "reduced rate" after union workers walked off the job for part of the day on Tuesday.

The strike was in solidarity with an anti-government protest movement across Chile, the world's biggest copper producer, that has so far had limited impact on output.

ALUMINIUM: The discount for cash aluminium over the three month contract on the LME fell to $2 from more than $30 in mid-September, pointing to tightening nearby supply. <MAL0-3>

LME aluminium was down 0.3% at $1,748 a tonne after touching a five-week high of $1,763.50.

ALUMINIUM: Aluminum Corp of China, reported a 10.4% year-on-year fall in aluminium production in July-September to 950,000 tonnes and said sales fell 13.8% to 940,000 tonnes, indicating lacklustre demand in China, the top consumer.

INDONESIA NICKEL: Indonesia could resume nickel ore exports in one to two weeks once an investigation into violations of export rules completes, a minister said.

OTHER METALS: LME zinc was down 1% at $2,517.50 a tonne, nickel was up 0.2% at $16,860, lead was 1.6% lower at $2,229.50 and tin was up 0.1% at $16,870. (Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen and Tom Daly; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)