MANILA, Aug 22 (Reuters) – London copper steadied on Wednesday ahead of trade talks between the United States and China, although U.S. President Donald Trump has played down hopes for near-term progress, saying resolving the dispute will take time. Trump told Reuters in an interview on Monday that he had “no time frame” for ending the trade dispute with China, which threatens to impose tariffs on virtually all goods traded between the world’s two largest economies. The talks this week come as new U.S. tariffs on $16 billion of Chinese goods are set to take effect at 12:01 a.m. (0401 GMT) on Thursday, along with retaliatory tariffs from Beijing on an equal amount of U.S. goods. “The previously announced imposts may remind investors of the threat to economic health and also highlight the risks politicians in both the U.S. and China are willing to run,” Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets and Stockbroking said in a note. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was little changed at $6,041 a tonne by 0214 GMT. The most-traded October copper on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.3 percent to 48,610 yuan ($7,072) a tonne.

* TRADE TALKS: The meetings, expected to take place on Wednesday and Thursday in Washington, are the first formal U.S.-China trade talks since June, when U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross met Chinese economic adviser Liu He in Beijing but returned with no agreements.

* CHINA STIMULUS: China’s central bank said it will not resort to strong stimulus to support the slowing economy, but will keep liquidity reasonably ample and offer more help to companies which are having trouble obtaining financing.

* DOLLAR: The dollar recovered from Tuesday’s 1-1/2-week low against a basket of currencies ahead of the U.S.-China trade discussions and the release of the minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting.

* SERBIA MINE: Three companies from Canada, China and Russia have bid for a strategic partnership in RTB Bor, Serbia’s only copper mine and smelter. Serbia’s government has said it was seeking a partner to invest at least $350 million in debt-laden RTB Bor but did not say how big a stake it would offer in return.

* SAMARCO DELAY: There is little likelihood that Brazil’s Samarco iron ore mine, a joint venture between Vale SA and BHP Billiton, will restart operations next year even though it expects to have all of the required licenses.

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