August 17, 2018 / 11:29 AM / 7 months ago

METALS-Copper posts biggest weekly fall since early July

    * GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns:
    * Metals look oversold- Goldman Sachs
    * Strike fears abate

 (Adds official prices)
    By Zandi Shabalala
    LONDON, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Copper inched lower on Friday,
posting its largest weekly fall since early July as strikes,
including at the world's largest mine, seemed mostly resolved
but a weaker dollar provided some support.
    Benchmark copper         ended 0.2 percent lower at $5,927
per tonne and down more than 4 percent on the week. The metal
used in power and construction has ended the last three weeks on
the back foot.
    The first workers to review a proposed labour pact at
Chile's Escondida are in favour of signing the new contract, a
union spokesman said on Thursday, following news that a strike
was on hold at the mine.                          
    Meanwhile, the main union at Chile's Caserones copper mine
said its members had approved management's labour contract offer
by a wide margin, pending a final revision of the document.
    "The copper price eased on the back of Escondida looking
like it's fully negotiated a contract," said ETF Securities
analyst Nitesh Shah. 
    ING BANK: "These successful negotiations have certainly not
helped the copper market, at a time when broader macro concerns
have weighed heavily on the metal," analysts at the bank said.  
    TRADE: U.S. President Donald Trump has rattled the world
trade order by seeking to renegotiate the terms of some of the
United States' trading relationships to combat what he calls
unfair trade practices by China, Europe and other countries.
    The moves have sparked a bitter tit-for-tat trade dispute
with several countries and fears that metal demand could suffer.
    "We need to see some more substantial turnaround in the
global trade war story and also for the dollar for copper to
make a rebound," said Danske Bank analyst Jens Perdersen.
    TALKS: China and the United States will hold lower-level
trade talks this month, the two governments said on Thursday,
offering hope that they might resolve an escalating tariff war
that threatens to engulf all trade between the world's two
largest economies.             
    But analysts now fear prices have fallen too low.  
    "Barring additional negative shocks in the global economy,
we think copper is oversold at this point," Goldman Sachs said
in a note this week.
    DOLLAR: The greenback       , in which copper and other
commodities are priced, weakened against a basket of its peers
on Friday but still hovered near 13-1/2-month highs.
    PRICES: Aluminium         fell 0.9 percent to $2,030 and
zinc         slipped 0.1 percent to $2,389, lead         ended
2.54 percent lower at $1,988, tin         added 0.5 percent to
$18,705, while nickel         rose 1.2 percent to $13,480.

 (Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Elaine
Hardcastle and Kirsten Donovan)
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