September 25, 2018 / 7:20 AM / 3 months ago

METALS-Copper down 1.5 pct as U.S.-China trade war raises demand concerns

(Updates prices)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, Sept 25 (Reuters) - London copper prices lost more ground on Tuesday with the market dropping 1.5 percent as an intensifying trade war between Washington and Beijing raised concerns over demand for industrial metals in top consumer China.

Asia stocks struggled on Tuesday as a fresh round of U.S.-China tariffs and a surge in oil prices to near four-year highs added to worries about risks to global growth.

COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 1.5 percent at $6,258 a tonne, as of 0708 GMT, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange finished 1.5 percent firmer at 50,360 yuan ($7,339.18) a tonne.

GROWTH: The United States and China imposed fresh tariffs on each other’s goods on Monday as the world’s biggest economies showed no signs of backing down from an increasingly bitter trade dispute that is expected to hit global economic growth.

RALLY: “Rising trade tension put a stop to the rally that emerged late last week in the base metals sector,” ANZ said in a note. “China also called off planned talks with the United States, with the chances of anything happening before the U.S. midterm election now highly unlikely.”

Copper climbed to its highest since July 10 at $6,382.5 a tonne on Friday.

TARIFFS: U.S. tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods and retaliatory tariffs by Beijing on $60 billion worth of U.S. products took effect at midday Asian time on Monday, though the initial level of the duties was not as high as earlier feared.

CHINA: China accounts for nearly half of global copper demand, estimated this year at 24 million tonnes.

OPTIONS: China’s top state copper companies threw their weight behind Shanghai’s first copper options on Friday, with early turnover trouncing its New York rival and raising a big challenge to the 141-year-old London bourse in the $270 billion global market.

CME: CME Group said its COMEX Copper options reached an all-time daily volume record of 8,089 contracts or 91,727 tonnes on Friday. It was nearly double the previous record of 4,255 contracts or 48,250 tonnes set on July 5, 2018.

ZINC: LME three-month zinc slid almost 2 percent to $2,514.50 a tonne.

PRICES

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 = 6.8618 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sunil Nair and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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