Wires

METALS-Most base metals gain as Iran, U.S. de-escalate standoff

(Adds comment, details and updates prices) BEIJING, Jan 9 (Reuters) - London copper moved higher on Thursday, on track for a fourth straight session of gains, as most industrial metals rallied on signs that Iran and the United States were keen to de-escalate the Middle East standoff. U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested Iran was "standing down" after its attack on U.S. forces in Iraq and said Washington did not necessarily have to hit back. "Trump's speech last night eased the markets' concerns," Everbright Futures wrote in a note. While gold and oil have retreated, riskier assets will likely receive a boost and copper prices will rise in the short-term, the Chinese brokerage added.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.4% at $6,205, as of 0514 GMT, after closing 0.5% firmer on Wednesday. The most-traded March copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange added 0.3% to 48,940 yuan ($7,065.31) a tonne by the end of the morning session.

* STOCKS: Copper inventories in warehouses monitored by the LME <MCU-STOCKS> fell to 138,400 tonnes, the lowest since March.

* CHINA: China's consumer inflation steadied while factory-gate prices fell at a slower pace in December, giving Beijing room to stay the course on monetary easing as economic growth cools.

* SCRAP: A unit of China's environment ministry on Wednesday issued import quotas for another 26,566 tonnes of high-grade copper scrap, in the second batch of allowances for restricted types of scrap metal for 2020.

* OTHER METALS: Nickel jumped as much as 2.9% to 111,890 yuan a tonne in Shanghai and up to 1.4% in London . LME zinc slipped 0.3% after a 2.4% jump on Wednesday amid dwindling stocks, while lead added 0.9%.

* NICKEL: "Only some futures market games are possible," a trader said when asked about nickel's jump. "Real consumption now is very quiet" just two weeks before China's Lunar New Year holiday, he added.

* NICKEL: Indonesia has approved environmental impact studies for factories to produce battery-grade nickel chemicals in Morowali, Coordinating Minister of Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan said on Wednesday.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian stocks rebounded and oil edged up as the United States and Iran backed away from the brink of further conflict in the Middle East and investors unwound safety plays.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0700 Germany Industrial Output MM Nov1000 EU Unemployment Rate Nov1330 US Initial Jobless Claims Weekly

PRICES 0512 GMT

Three month LME copper 6204Most active ShFE copper 48940Three month LME aluminium 1803.5Most active ShFE aluminium 14070Three month LME zinc 2395Most active ShFE zinc 18340Three month LME lead 1918Most active ShFE lead 14945Three month LME nickel 14220Most active ShFE nickel 111740Three month LME tin 17140Most active ShFE tin 137100LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc 444.19

3

LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc -236.12

3

LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc -616.53

3

LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc -495.64

3

LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc -2271.26

3

($1 = 6.9268 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Uttaresh.V and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)