Wires

METALS-Copper rises on China policy easing, trade deal hopes

China's central bank and U.S. President Donald Trump setting

(Adds comment, updates prices) BEIJING, Jan 2 (Reuters) - London copper rose as much as 1% on Thursday, as investors cheered a monetary policy easing move a date to sign a trade deal with Beijing. The People's Bank of China on Wednesday reduced the amount of cash that all banks must hold as reserves, releasing around 800 billion yuan ($114.84 billion) in funds to shore up the slowing economy. It was the eighth cut in the reserve requirement ratio (RRR) since early 2018. The cut "will undoubtedly boost market sentiment," in top metals consumer China, Everbright Futures said in a note, adding that recent high flows of capital into non-ferrous metals "would be further stimulated to rise" as a result. While the expected signing of the Phase 1 trade deal would give more support to a copper rally, a withdrawal of capital ahead of the week-long Lunar New Year holiday in China later this month could see prices fall, the brokerage added.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.7% to $6,215 a tonne by 0504 GMT, after closing down 0.7% on Tuesday and logging an annual gain of 3.4% in 2019. The most-traded February copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was flat at 49,260 yuan a tonne by the end of the morning session.

* TRADE: President Trump on Tuesday said he would sign the Phase 1 trade deal with China on Jan. 15, though considerable confusion remains about the details of the agreement.

* PMI: China's factory activity expanded at a slower clip in December, pulling back from a three-year high the previous month as new orders softened, a private survey showed on Thursday.

* CHILE: Chilean mining activity fell 7.1% in November, government data showed on Tuesday, while its copper production fell by 6.7% from the same month a year earlier to 504,366 tonnes.

* OTHER METALS: The LME complex was broadly mixed, with nickel adding 0.8%, zinc climbing 1%, and aluminum trading flat. Indonesia's ban on nickel ore exports came into effect on Wednesday. Lead slipped 0.5%, while tin was the laggard, losing 1.1%.

MARKETS NEWS Asian shares kicked off the new decade higher on Thursday, after global stocks ended the previous one at record highs, and buoyed by Chinese markets after Beijing eased monetary policy to support slowing growth.

PRICES

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE

3

3

3

3

3 ($1 = 6.9662 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Uttaresh.V)