BEIJING, Feb 1 (Reuters) - London base metals prices fell on
Friday after a closely watched private survey showed that
factory activity in China, the world's top metals consumer,
shrank by the most in almost three years last month.
    The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index
(PMI) for January fell to 48.3 - its worst reading since
February 2016 - from 49.7 in December.
    The survey came a day after China's official manufacturing
PMI showed a second straight monthly contraction but was higher
than consensus, lifting industrial metal prices along with
dovish comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve on interest rates.
    
    "Unlike the state statistics, the Caixin Manufacturing PMI
is derived exclusively from a survey of 430 private industrial
companies which is exactly the sector that the government has
been trying support for several months," John Browning, managing
director of brokerage Bands Financial, wrote in a note.
     
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
was down 0.7 percent at $6,128.50 a tonne as of 0503 GMT, having
hit a seven-week high in the previous session. The metal widely
used in manufacturing and construction is heading for a weekly
rise of 1.2 percent.
    * SHFE: The most traded March copper contract on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange was down 0.1 percent at 47,990 yuan 
($7,132.88) a tonne.
    * HOLIDAYS: The ShFE will close after Friday's afternoon
session for China's Lunar New Year holiday, re-opening on Feb.
11.
    * COPPER: Top copper miner Codelco said it had struck a
contract deal with the union of supervisors at its Gabriela
Mistral mine in northern Chile, averting the threat of a strike.

    * TRADE TALKS: U.S. President Donald Trump said he will meet
with China's Xi Jinping soon to try to seal a comprehensive
trade deal, citing substantial progress in two days of
high-level talks.
    * ZINC: The most-traded ShFE zinc contract surged
2.5 percent to a nine-month high of 22,460 yuan a tonne before
easing to 22,190 yuan. LME zinc, which hit a seven-month high on
Thursday amid tight stocks, was down 0.2 percent.    
    * ALUMINIUM: Aluminium Corp of China Ltd, known as Chalco,
has stopped production at an aluminium smelting plant in eastern
China's Shandong province, citing high electricity costs.