Wires

METALS-Copper eases on slowdown concerns; market eyes U.S.-China trade deal

SINGAPORE, Nov 18 (Reuters) - London copper prices edged lower on Monday as concerns over an economic slowdown in top consumer China weighed on the market, although hopes of a Sino-U.S. trade deal kept investor optimism afloat, curbing sharp declines in the metal.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.2% at $5,840 a tonne, as of 0129 GMT, giving up some of previous session's gains.

* The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures

Exchange was down 0.02% at 46,860 yuan ($6,699.93) a

tonne.

* China's industrial output grew significantly more slowly than expected in October, underlining fears of a sharp drop in demand in the world's largest consumer of metals.

* China's central bank is expected to cut a key interest rate after it extended 200 billion yuan through its medium-term lending facility on Friday.

* Positive comments on trade from officials in Washington and Beijing are expected to provide a floor under the market.

* On Saturday, Chinese state media said the two sides had "constructive talks" on trade in a high-level phone call that included Vice Premier Liu He, U.S. trade representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.

* White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday the nations are getting close to an agreement, citing what he called very constructive talks with Beijing about ending a 16-month trade war.

* The tariff war has hampered global economic activity and pushed metals prices sharply lower.

* China's October refined copper output rose 17.9% year-on-year to a record high of 868,000 tonnes. Production of lead, zinc and alumina also advanced.

* Japan's Marubeni Corp said aluminium stocks held at three major Japanese ports at the end of October fell 2.6% to 318,200 tonnes from the previous month. <AL-STK-JPPRT>

* Headline aluminium inventories in LME-registered warehouses rose by 44,200 tonnes to a little under 1.1 million tonnes, the highest since June. <MALSTX-TOTAL>

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian share markets got the week off to a muted start on Monday as jaded investors awaited real evidence on progress in the U.S.-China trade dispute, though sentiment found support from another record close on Wall Street.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

1500 US NAHB Housing Market Index Nov

PRICES Three month LME copper Most active ShFE copper Three month LME aluminium Most active ShFE aluminium Three month LME zinc Most active ShFE zinc Three month LME lead Most active ShFE lead Three month LME nickel Most active ShFE nickel Three month LME tin Most active ShFE tin

ARBS

($1 = 6.9941 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)