June 28, 2019 / 4:34 AM / 6 months ago

METALS-Copper set for worst quarter in 3-1/2 years ahead of Trump-Xi meeting

(Adds quotes, graphics; updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, June 28 (Reuters) - Copper prices edged higher on Friday but were on track for their weakest quarterly performance since the end of 2015, weighed down by demand fears from the U.S.-China trade war.

Benchmark three-month copper prices rose 0.1% to $5,995 a tonne as of 0737 GMT. Prices have fallen 7.5% so far in the second quarter, on track for their biggest drop since the quarter ended December 2015.

The poor performance follows a big fall in May when U.S.-China trade tension deepened and copper prices posted their steepest monthly decline in three-and-a-half years.

The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) ended down 0.2% on Friday at 47,010 yuan ($6,847.58) a tonne.

Investors are waiting for a meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping scheduled on Saturday in Japan, hoping for news about any resolution to a prolonged trade war.

“The trade war is the single biggest factor. No one has any idea when it’s going to end and how. And we’re being bounced around by news flows and tweets and rumours. There’s not a lot more that people can do,” said Guy Wolf of Marex Spectron.

“If this trade war situation gets resolved, and almost doesn’t really matter how, even if there are tariffs, just the certainty of knowing what environment you’re going to be in...is going to be enough for people to be able to do things.”

Copper is widely used in the industrial and manufacturing sectors and its prices are often considered as an indicator of the health of the global economy.


* GLENCORE: At least 41 artisanal miners were killed when part of a copper and cobalt mine owned by Glencore in Congo collapsed. Glencore said the workers were on the site illegally and the incident had not affected its production.

* CHUQUICAMATA: A two-week strike that docked output at Chile’s Chuquicamata copper mine has ended after three main labour unions voted to accept the latest contract offer from Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer.

* PRICES: London aluminium rose 0.1%, lead eased 0.2% and tin dipped 0.2%. In Shanghai, nickel rose 0.4%, while most other metals fell, with aluminium slipping 0.5% and zinc dropping 1.1%.

* ZINC: Zinc prices on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 8.4% in the second quarter, its worst since the quarter ended September 2015. The three-month zinc contract on the London Metal Exchange (LME) is also heading for its biggest fall in 15 quarters.

* NICKEL: LME nickel fell 0.8% but is on track for its best month since January. The metal used mostly in making stainless steel is the best performer so far this year among the base metals complex, rising 18.1% as of Friday.

* SCRAP: Chinese copper buyers are hunting for alternative sources of the commodity as ramped-up restrictions on imports of high-grade copper scrap kick in on Monday in the world’s top consumer of the metal.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or


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

ARBS ($1 = 6.8652 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Richard Pullin and Subhranshu Sahu

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