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Markets looking positive

Markets were on the improve amid no further negative developments in the US-China trade spat.
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Norsk Hydro was on the rise as Alunorte in Brazil returns “towards normal production”

Staff reporter

Most North American and European market indices were set for upbeat starts today and Australia's S&P/ASX200 was up at the time of writing.

Copper miners gained yesterday, with Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE: FCX) up about 1.5% in New York and Antofagasta (LSE: ANTO) rising more than 2% in London.

Base metal futures were mixed in Asian trade and the gold price remains about US$1,274 an ounce.

Alumunium producer Norsk Hydro (OS: NHY) jumped 5.6% after announcing Brazil's federal court had lifted a production embargo, saying it would ramp up the Alunorte refinery "towards normal production after running at half capacity for more than a year".

The 50% production cut was imposed last year over concerns of a spill after heavy rains.

An embargo remains on using its new waste facility called DRS2 and Norsk said last week its DRS1 had an estimated remaining lifetime of 8-18 months.

Lynas Corp (ASX: LYC) was up 7.7% in afternoon Australian trade - a gain of more than 53% so far this year.

The integrated rare earths producer recently brushed off a takeover proposal from conglomerate Wesfarmers and this week outlined a A$500 million (US$344 million) plan to expand "to meet forecast demand growth".

Finally, Hudbay Minerals (TSX: HBM) continued its recent slide, down 2.5%, following a Bloomberg report it was planning to sell a 30% stake in its Rosemont copper development project in Arizona.