Wires

METALS-Copper inches higher, set for weekly gain on inventory slump

(Adds Shanghai prices, stocks data; updates London prices) BEIJING, Jan 10 (Reuters) - London copper edged higher on Friday as exchange inventories languished near a nine-month low and Middle East tensions faded, but gains were limited after U.S. President Donald Trump said a Phase 2 trade deal with China may have to wait until end-2020. Copper, widely used in power and construction, is heading for a rise of 1% in London this week, after slipping 1.4% last week, but the strong relief rally in equities on easing U.S.-Iran frictions was absent from the base metals complex. "There is a lack of new developments," said Helen Lau, an analyst with Argonaut Securities, noting some resistance in copper prices at about $6,200 a tonne. "Investors are still very data-oriented. We want to see what the trade data is like for December and if China's monetary easing really had some good impact on the real economy," Lau added. China's customs is due to report December and full-year copper import and aluminium exports numbers on Tuesday.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the LME rose 0.1% to $6,187 a tonne by 0738 GMT. The most-traded March copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 0.1% at 49,010 yuan ($7,070.72) a tonne.

* DRC: Copper production in Democratic Republic of Congo rose 15.9% year-on-year to 1.308 million tonnes for January to November 2019, while cobalt production fell 18.3% to 82,220 tonnes.

* LME STOCKS: Copper inventories in LME-registered warehouses <MCU-STOCKS> fell further to 135,800 tonnes, the lowest since March 12, data released on Thursday showed.

* SHFE STOCKS: Copper inventories in warehouses monitored by the ShFE <CU-STX-SGH> fell 5.4% from the previous week to 133,745 tonnes, the exchange said on Friday. Aluminium stocks <AL-STX-SGH> rose 3.1% to 193,899 tonnes.

* OTHER METALS: LME nickel gained 0.5%, while aluminium and lead rose 0.2%. Tin slipped 0.1%, while zinc eased 0.3% after touching an eight-week high in the previous session.

* SPREADS: The discount of cash LME copper over the three-month contract <CMCU0-3> stood at $27.50 a tonne, the widest seen since Dec. 23, indicating weak near-term demand. Zinc spreads <CMZN0-3> were in a backwardation of $9.25 a tonne, pointing to tight near-term supply.

MARKETS NEWS

* World shares hit a record high as relief over the de-escalation of U.S.-Iranian tensions prompted investors to bet on faster global growth. PRICES

BASE METALS PRICES 0738 GMTThree month LME copper 6187Most active ShFE copper 49000Three month LME aluminium 1807Most active ShFE aluminium 14105Three month LME zinc 2368.5Most active ShFE zinc 18335Three month LME lead 1932.5Most active ShFE lead 14975Three month LME nickel 14155Most active ShFE nickel 111930Three month LME tin 17235Most active ShFE tin 137510

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE

LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc 587.03

3

LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc -188.41

3

LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc -403.67

3

LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc -633.37

3

LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc -1479.33

3

($1 = 6.9314 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)