METALS-Copper rises for second session as market eyes U.S.-China trade deal

Naveen Thukral

(Adds details on China's rate cut in paragraphs 6-7, updates prices) SINGAPORE, Nov 18 (Reuters) - London copper gained more ground on Monday as hopes of a Sino-U.S. trade deal and China's move to trim a closely watched lending rate kept investor optimism afloat, underpinning prices.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was

up 0.3% at $5,865.50 a tonne, as of 0722 GMT, after a 0.6% gain in the previous session. The most-traded copper contract on the

Shanghai Futures Exchange added 0.2% at 46,980 yuan

($6,717.09) a tonne.

TRADE DEAL HOPES: Positive comments on trade from officials in Washington and Beijing are expected to support the market. CONSTRUCTIVE TALKS: 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. AGREEMENT SOON: White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Thursday the two nations were getting close to an agreement, citing what he called very constructive talks with Beijing about ending the 16-month spat. INTEREST RATE: There was additional support for industrial metals stemming from China's move to cut a key interest rate.

SHARES: Asian shares ticked higher on Monday after Beijing surprised markets by trimming a key interest rate for the first time since 2015, stirring speculation that further stimulus was on the way for the world's second-largest economy. ECONOMIC GROWTH: The tariff war has hampered global economic activity and pushed metals prices sharply lower. INDUSTRIAL OUTPUT: China's industrial output grew significantly slower than expected in October, underlining fears of a sharp drop in demand in the world's largest consumer of metals. COPPER OUTPUT: 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 increased.

NICKEL STOCKS: Rising nickel inventories in Shanghai weighed

on prices. Shanghai nickel slid almost 1.5%, while LMEnickel was down 0.6%.

ALUMINIUM RESERVES: Japan's Marubeni Corp said aluminum 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> LME ALUMINIUM: Headline aluminum inventories in LME-registered warehouses rose by 44,200 tonnes to a little under 1.1 million tonnes, the highest since June. <MALSTX-TOTAL>

PRICES Three month LME copper Most active ShFE copper Three month LME aluminum Most active ShFE aluminum 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


($1 = 6.9941 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Subhranshu Sahu and Shounak Dasgupta)