May 4, 2017 / 9:53 AM / 5 months ago

METALS-Copper slides to five-month lows as inventories surge

* LME copper stocks up 25 pct so far this week

* Nickel drops after removal of Philippine minister

* LME/ShFE arb: tmsnrt.rs/2oQ5nm2 (Updates with closing prices)

By Jan Harvey

LONDON, May 4 (Reuters) - Copper fell to five-months lows on Thursday, posting its biggest two-day loss since July 2015, on rising inventories and worries over cooling demand.

Inventories in London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses rose nearly 33,000 tonnes on Wednesday, exchange data showed, bringing this week’s increase to 64,000 tonnes, or 25 percent.

That followed data this week showing that U.S. factory activity slowed in April while growth in China’s manufacturing sector slowed more than expected.

A report on Thursday showed that new orders for goods manufactured in the United States rose for a fourth month in March, but by less than expected.

“We’re seeing weaker manufacturing data this week, especially in China and the U.S., which is affecting base metals negatively, and I sense the market is starting to lose patience with the lack of progress on (U.S. President) Trump’s infrastructure spending plans,” Danske Bank analyst Jens Pedersen said.

“Producers have been caught off guard by this slowdown in the industrial cycle, and therefore are having to place (metal) in inventories.”

* COPPER PRICES: LME copper closed 1 percent down at $5,543 a tonne, having touched $5,494, its lowest since Jan. 4. Prices registered their biggest one-day drop since Sept. 2015 in the previous session, falling 3.5 percent.

* TECHNICALS: A break of support at $5,563 a tonne in LME copper prices could trigger a loss into the range of $5,433-$5,508, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said on Thursday.

* LME STOCKS: LME copper stocks MCU-STOCKS surged by 31,250 tonnes, data showed on Wednesday, while tin stocks MSN-STOCKS fell by a further 35 tonnes to their lowest since 1989. Tin ended the day down 0.2 percent at $19,850 a tonne.

* PHILIPPINES MINING: The Philippine government will move forward with a second review of the country’s mines despite the removal of Regina Lopez as environment minister, a finance official said on Thursday. Lopez will no longer be in a position to suspend about 8 percent of global nickel supply, Goldman Sachs said in a note.

* NICKEL PRICES: LME nickel closed 2.3 percent down at $9,015 a tonne, off an earlier 10-month low of $8,970.

* GLENCORE: Mining and trading group Glencore has hired the Bank of Nova Scotia to sell a portfolio of royalty assets, including one for the Antamina copper-zinc mine in Peru, four people familiar with the process told Reuters.

* LEAD STOCKS: One company was holding more than 90 percent of lead warrants and cash contracts <0#LME-WHC>. Cancelled warrants, or material earmarked for delivery and unavailable to the market, made up nearly half of total inventories. MPBSTX-TOTAL

* OTHER METALS: LME lead finished 0.5 percent lower at $2,190 a tonne, while zinc closed 0.2 percent down at $2,569. Aluminium ended with a 0.6 percent decline at $1,913.

Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne; Editing by Elaine Hardcastle and David Goodman

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
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