November 14, 2018 / 11:54 AM / a month ago

METALS-Base metals tread water on mixed China data

    * China retail sales growth slows, industrial output rises
    * Nickel touches fresh 11-month low
    * GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl   

 (Updates with closing prices, Lead and zinc balance)
    By Zandi Shabalala
    LONDON, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Base metals held steady on
Wednesday as weak retail sales data from top consumer China took
the shine off upbeat industrial output and investment figures in
the country.
    Benchmark copper         on the London Metal Exchange (LME)
ended 0.3 percent higher at $6,090 a tonne. The metal used in
power and construction was marginally lower in early trade. 
    "It has a bit to do with the negative reaction to retail
sales in China and that stock markets there had been down and
also the ferrous metals complex was a bit weaker," an analyst
said. 
    Retail sales in China in October grew at their slowest pace
since May, pointing to a consumption slowdown, even as a pick-up
in industrial output and investment suggested support measures
may be starting to take hold.             
    Meanwhile, a decline in oil prices late on Tuesday hit
metals and other assets such as equities which are seen as
risky, Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann said.
    
    ENERGY: Oil prices clawed back some losses on Wednesday
after tanking around 7 percent in the previous session as
investors were scared off by surging supply and the spectre of
faltering demand.      
    U.S.-CHINA TRADE: U.S. President Donald Trump's top economic
adviser said "it's pretty clear now" that Trump would meet with
Chinese President Xi Jinping at the G20 summit later this month
a day after China's top trade negotiator Liu He said he could
visit Washington to prepare for the talks.             
    CHINESE INVESTMENT: Chinese copper smelters are looking to
make more investments in mines, pushing to shore up supply of
concentrate at a time when competition for the raw material is
heating up, industry executives said.                 
    CHINA ALUMINIUM: China's primary aluminium output fell for a
third straight month in October, as low aluminium prices
prompted smelters to cut production even before
government-mandated winter restrictions kick in.             
    LME aluminium         ended up 0.4 percent to $1,943 per
tonne, after touching a 15-month low on Tuesday.
    CHINA STEEL: Steel output in China, the world's top
producer, hit record levels in October, rising for a third
straight month as mills rushed to boost output ahead of winter
production cuts.             
    LEAD AND ZINC: The global lead market's deficit ballooned to
 21,400 tonnes in September while zinc narrowed its deficit to
54,700 tonnes.                         
    SPREAD: The premium for cash zinc over the three-month
contract CMZN0-3 was at $56.50 a tonne, close to a one-year
high of $66.50 touched on Monday as concerns lingered over tight
supplies on the LME. 
    PRICES: Zinc         inched 0.5 percent higher at $2,502 per
tonne, lead         edged up 0.1 percent to $1,953, tin        
added 0.2 percent to $19,305 while nickel         touched a
fresh 11-month low, finished 0.3 percent lower at $11,315.    

    
 (Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen
Editing by Alexandra Hudson and Edmund Blair)
  
 
 
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