(Recasts, updates prices, adds analyst comments)
July 16 (Reuters) - Base metals fell on Thursday, with London copper extending losses into a third session, as U.S.-China tensions, rising COVID-19 cases and doubts over the durability of China’s economic recovery dimmed prospects for demand rebound.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange slipped 0.5% to $6,357 a tonne by 0410 GMT, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was down 2.5% to 51,090 yuan ($7,302.85) a tonne.
China’s gross domestic product grew a forecast-beating 3.2% in the second quarter from a year earlier, while industrial output in June rose for the third straight month.
Weak demand at home and abroad, however, due to the coronavirus pandemic, still suggests a bumpy road to full recovery for the world’s top metals consumer.
“The imbalance in China is growing as the government tries to push growth through state-led support while Chinese households are still tightening purse strings,” said Trinh Nguyen, a senior economist at Natixis SA in Hong Kong.
* POLL: A sizzling rally that pushed copper prices to two-year highs will lose some of its heat in the coming months as investors take a hard look at supply and demand fundamentals.
* CHILE: Chile’s Antofagasta and unionized workers at its Zaldívar mine entered into mediation with the government on Wednesday in a last-ditch effort to stave off a strike.
* OTHER PRICES: LME nickel dropped 1.1% to $13,375 a tonne, while aluminium dipped 0.7% to $1,671.50 a tonne. In Shanghai, aluminium fell 2.8% to 14,085 yuan a tonne and lead slumped 2.9% to 14,920 yuan a tonne.
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 = 6.9959 yuan Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu