MELBOURNE, Oct 12 (Reuters) – London aluminium steadied on Friday after metals were caught in a widespread market sell-off this week and ahead of Chinese trade data later in the session, but it was set for its biggest weekly drop since June as concerns over raw material costs eased. FUNDAMENTALS
* ALUMINIUM: London Metal Exchange aluminium had edged up 0.3 percent to $2,027 a tonne by 0123 GMT – still holding above the $2,000 level that has been its base since April. Prices were on course for a loss of nearly 4 percent this week, extending 2018’s drop to 11 percent.
* ALUMINA: Putting downward pressure on raw material costs, aluminium maker Norsk Hydro said it would resume half production at its giant Brazilian alumina plant, just days after declaring it would shut down completely.
* LME copper also found support at $6,253 a tonne by 0123 GMT, after closing flat in the previous session.
* Shanghai Futures Exchange copper rose half a percent to 50,450 yuan ($7,312) a tonne. Open interest in China’s copper contract is the lowest in 15 months.
* TARIFFS: Canada does not hold out much hope that Washington will quickly lift tariffs that it imposed on steel and aluminum exports and is resisting a U.S. push to agree to strict quotas, two sources familiar with the matter said.
* LITHIUM: The LME said on Thursday that it had shortlisted Argus Media, Fastmarkets and Benchmark Mineral Intelligence to provide the price for the exchange’s new lithium contract.
* TRAFIGURA: Copper producer Atalaya Mining, , which is backed by Swiss trading giant Trafigura, is looking for a buyer, two banking sources said on Thursday.
* TRADE WAR: U.S. President Donald Trump warned on Thursday there was much more he could do that would hurt China’s economy further, showing no signs of backing off an escalating trade war with Beijing.