BEIJING, Feb 20 (Reuters) - London copper prices rose for a
sixth consecutive session on Wednesday, striking a fresh
two-month high on hopes of a trade deal between China and the
United States.
    U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday talks with
China, currently taking place in Washington, were going well and
suggested he was open to pushing off the deadline to complete
negotiations, saying March 1 was not a "magical" date.
 
    Tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports are
scheduled to rise to 25 percent from 10 percent by March 1 if
there is no deal, which analysts expect would weigh on copper
demand and prices.
    "Optimism around the trade deal has been a key reason behind
the price recovery, so any trade talks could again spook
negative sentiment across the metals," ANZ said in a note.
    
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * SHFE COPPER: The most-traded April copper contract on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange gained as much as 0.9 percent
to 49,790 yuan ($7,404.16) a tonne, the highest since Dec. 5 and
stood at 49,650 yuan a tonne by the end of the morning session.
    * COPPER SPREADS: The premium of cash copper over the
three-month LME contract CMCU0-3 was at $25 a tonne on
Tuesday, versus a discount of $14.25 a week earlier, indicating
tighter near-term supply.
    * OTHER METALS: The entire LME complex made modest gains,
with aluminium adding 0.5 percent. Shanghai lead
 was the sole laggard, slipping 0.1 percent.
    * LEAD: The global lead market narrowed its annual deficit
to 98,000 tonnes in 2018 compared to a shortfall of 148,000 in
the previous year, data from the International Lead and Zinc
Study Group showed.    
    * ALUMINIUM: South32 could cut about 500 jobs at
its Hillside aluminium smelter in South Africa, a trade union
said.