SINGAPORE, June 13 (Reuters) - Industrial metals traded in tight ranges on Thursday as a lack of progress in resolving the U.S.-China trade tension continued to weigh on prices.
Benchmark London copper edged up 0.1% to $5,855 a tonne at 0153 GMT, aluminium declined 0.3%, while nickel eased 0.1%, zinc ticked up 0.2% and lead fell 0.2%.
China is the world’s biggest metals consumer. A lingering trade war and rising tariffs pose threats to the health of the global economy as well as China’s economic growth, ultimately hurting demand for metals.
But prices were cushioned by expectation of an interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve in the backdrop of slowing growth. A rate cut could weaken U.S. dollar and make dollar-denominated metals cheaper for importers using other currencies.
* The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.7% to 46,400 yuan ($6,706.07) a tonne, while aluminium eased 0.1%, nickel edged up 0.3% and zinc was almost flat.
* U.S. President Donald Trump declined to set a deadline on Wednesday for levying tariffs on another $325 billion of Chinese goods and called the relationship with Beijing good but “testy” after China walked back commitments for a trade deal.
* A preliminary study of the Cascabel mining project in northern Ecuador shows that it could become one of the world’s largest copper, silver and gold mines, Ecuador’s government said on Wednesday.
* Konkola Copper Mines, owned by Vedanta Resources , plans to restart its Nchanga smelter on June 22 after having been idle pending availability of concentrates, the company said on Wednesday.
* Rapidly rising nickel supplies and slowing demand from stainless steel mills are weighing on prices of the metal, which are likely to come under further pressure this year as deficits disappear.
* Some Japanese aluminium buyers have agreed to pay a premium of $108 per tonne for shipments in July to September, up 3% from the current quarter, amid tighter supply in Asia, sources said on Wednesday.
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* Asian stocks stuttered, dogged by the uncertainty over an intractable U.S.-China trade dispute, while oil prices flirted with five-month lows thanks to higher U.S. crude inventories and a bleaker demand outlook.
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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 = 6.9191 Chinese yuan)
Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Gopakumar Warrier