By Manolo Serapio Jr
MANILA, Aug 14 (Reuters) - London copper fell for a third straight session on Tuesday after data showed the Chinese economy was cooling, suggesting demand from the world’s top copper consumer could slow.
China’s fixed-asset investment increased at the slowest pace on record in July and retail sales also softened amid an escalating trade dispute with the United States, data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics showed.
Worries over Turkey’s economic troubles also limited appetite for risky assets.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange dropped 0.9 percent to $6,097.50 a tonne by 0737 GMT, pushing the year-to-date loss to nearly 16 percent. On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, the most-traded copper contract closed down 0.3 percent at 49,520 yuan ($7,193) a tonne.
Argonaut Securities analyst Helen Lau said the recent sharp drop in the price of copper “may be overdone,” citing earlier upbeat data including strong exports growth in July.
“China still has many ammunitions to counter more headwinds if the future tariff impositions are not deferred or watered down via negotiations,” Lau said in a note, referring to the growing tariff war with the United States.
ESCONDIDA: The union at the world’s largest copper mine, Escondida in Chile, has called off a strike planned to start on Tuesday after agreeing to extend talks with operator BHP for another day.
CHINA ALUMINIUM: China’s primary aluminium production climbed 12 percent in July from the same month a year earlier, equalling its monthly record, as new smelters took output back toward the level that preceded capacity closures in mid-2017.
LME aluminium slipped 0.3 percent to $2,075.50 a tonne, while its Shanghai counterpart was flat at 14,700 yuan.
OTHER METALS: China’s output of a group of 10 non-ferrous metals - including copper, aluminium, lead, zinc and nickel – rose 8.5 percent to 4.62 million tonnes in July from a year ago, the highest since December 2017.
CASERONES: The main union at Chile’s Caserones copper mine said both sides had agreed to extend government mediation of labour talks until Thursday.
ZINC: LME zinc fell to as low as $2,469 a tonne, near Monday’s trough of $2,462, which was the weakest since June 2017. Shanghai zinc futures dropped 2 percent to settle at 20,820 yuan.
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 = 6.8840 Chinese yuan)
Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr., Editing by Christian Schmollinger and Subhranshu Sahu