Wires

METALS-Copper slips after Trump threat of more China tariffs

Eric Onstad

* Lead sinks to lowest since early September

* GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: http://tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl (Updates prices to close)

LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - The price of copper and other base metals slipped on Wednesday after U.S. President Donald Trump threatened more tariffs on China, disappointing investors keen for a trade deal.

While Trump said in a speech that a phase one trade deal was close, the market focused on his comments about raising tariffs on Chinese goods "very substantially" if a deal fails to be agreed.

"It raised the level of uncertainty again, coming at a time when the market's been in risk-on, happy-days mode for the past month," said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen.

"If you look at copper, it's breaking down a bit. We've had this uptrend since the start of October, but we failed to break above $6,000 and the 200-day moving average."

Last week, copper touched $6,011 a tonne, the highest in more than three months, after gaining about 8% since the start of October.

Hansen said traders were focusing on support at $5,800, a key technical level.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) shed 0.6% to $5,835 a tonne in final open-outcry trading, the lowest since Nov. 1. It was down for a fourth straight session.

* COPPER STOCKS: Copper inventories in LME-approved warehouses <MCUSTX-TOTAL> fell to a five-month low at 224,425 tonnes, while stocks in warehouses tracked by the Shanghai Futures Exchange <CU-STX-SGH> have declined 44% since March to 148,687 tonnes.

* CHILE COPPER: Most of Chile's copper miners said they had maintained their operations on Tuesday, albeit with some delays and sporadic unrest, amid calls for a general strike and a fresh day of social protests.

* ALUMINIUM DEMAND: China's aluminum consumption is seen falling for the first time in 30 years this year as domestic demand and exports decline, research house Antaike said.

* ALUMINIUM POSITION: The LME net speculative short position had reduced to just 1.2% of open interest at Monday's close, down from a recent peak of 31% in early October, Alastair Munro at Marex Spectron said in a note, referring to the broker's position estimates.

* LEAD SMELTER: British diversified miner Glencore Plc's Canadian unit said on Wednesday it would permanently close down the Brunswick lead smelter in New Brunswick.

* PRICES: LME aluminum eased 0.7% to $1,765 a tonne, nickel fell 1.8% to $15,380 and zinc declined 2% to $2,422.

Lead dropped 1.2% to $2,035, the lowest since Sept. 6, while tin fell 2.1% to $16,000 after touching $15,970, the weakest since Oct. 1.

(Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by Dale Hudson and David Evans/Mark Heinrich/David Gregorio)