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METALS-London copper eyes biggest weekly loss since August
March 10, 2017 / 4:02 AM / 9 months ago

METALS-London copper eyes biggest weekly loss since August

* LME copper stocks up by more than half this month

* Traders concerned about China credit availability for metals

* Coming up: U.S. Feb nonfarm payrolls at 1330 GMT (Adds detail, updates prices)

By Melanie Burton

MELBOURNE, March 10 (Reuters) - London copper edged up on Friday after six straight sessions of decline, but was set for its steepest weekly loss since August after an influx of deliveries into exchange warehouses this week doused near-term supply concerns.

LME copper stocks surged by 38,775 tonnes to 327,300 tonnes, the latest data showed, bringing total inventories to the highest since December and raising concerns about demand in Asia.

Stocks have jumped by more than half since the start of March as traders have opted to deliver rather than pay soaring fees to roll contracts CMCUT-0.

“The slide in commodities, triggered by rising stockpiles earlier this week, continued as investors cut bullish bets built up over the course of the year,” ANZ said in a report.

In the short term, trade was quiet, as markets awaited U.S. nonfarm payrolls data for February.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had risen 0.5 percent to $5,715.50 a tonne by 0700 GMT, after a drop of 1.4 percent in the previous session when prices plumbed the lowest since Jan. 10 at $5,652 a tonne.

Copper is on course for a 3.4-percent weekly decline, the largest such drop since late August.

Shanghai Futures Exchange copper eased 0.6 percent to 46,550 yuan ($6,733) a tonne.

Meanwhile, BHP Billiton may try to restart production at the world’s No.1 copper mine, Escondida in Chile, using temporary workers once a strike surpasses 30 days, while Freeport-McMoRan Inc said it aimed to resume copper concentrate output at its Indonesian Grasberg mine on March 21.

Elsewhere, U.S. aluminium foil producers have filed petitions with their government accusing Chinese manufacturers of dumping the product in the United States.

China will move forward with restructuring central government enterprises this year, and focus on the steel, coal, heavy equipment and coal-fired power sectors.

It still has work to do cleaning up its skies, with poor enforcement of environmental laws and inadequate monitoring, the environment minister said on Thursday. A more severe crackdown could impede its production of metals.

A steep drop in China’s aggregate financing, seen as a proxy for credit available to store metals, spooked traders who worry that Beijing may be clamping down on the type of credit used by the metals industry.

LME nickel was set for an 8.3-percent weekly drop, the widest since May 2015, on concerns that mine supply from the Philippines may pick up just as Indonesia resumes exports. ShFE nickel declined 2 percent.

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte could reappoint the environment minister who ordered more than half the country’s mines shut down, as Congress appears set to defer a decision on her confirmation.


Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin ($1 = 6.9133 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford)

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