July 26, 2019 / 2:54 AM / 5 months ago

METALS-Copper prices drop as ECB dampens rate-cut views

SINGAPORE, July 26 (Reuters) - Copper prices dropped on Friday, on track for their first weekly decline in three, as comments from European Central Bank President Mario Draghi were less dovish than hoped after the bank held rates steady at its latest meeting.

An aggressive easing by a major central bank generally supports growth and helps lift metal prices.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 0.3% at $5,990 a tonne, as of 0215 GMT, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange eased 0.1% to 47,020 yuan ($6,838.58) a tonne.

The European Central Bank (ECB) signalled its intention to explore monetary easing but left interest rates unchanged on Thursday.

LME copper dropped 1.2% so far this week, slated to snap two consecutive weekly gains.

FUNDAMENTALS

* PRICES: LME aluminium edged up 0.1%, nickel rose 0.8%, zinc fell 0.5% and lead eased 0.4%. In Shanghai, aluminium rose 0.6%, nickel dropped 1.1% and zinc declined 0.7%.

* TRADE TALKS: Lead negotiators for China and the United States will meet in Shanghai on Tuesday for two days in the next round of trade talks aimed to end their year-long trade war, China’s commerce ministry confirmed.

* TIN: Indonesia’s largest tin miner PT Timah expects to more than double its refined tin production this year to around 70,000 tonnes, but has started taking steps to slow down output amid a sluggish market, a company’s official said.

* YUGUANG LEAD: Henan Yuguang Gold and Lead Co, China’s biggest lead producer, has completed maintenance at its 400,000 tonnes per year lead smelter in Jiyuan and resumed production, its sales director Li Xiaodong said.

* LEAD SPREAD: The premium of LME lead cash contract over the three-month contract CMPB0-3 surged to $10.50 a tonne on Thursday from $1.5 in the previous session, indicating nearby supply shortage.

* PERU COPPER: Peru’s president said his government will re-evaluate its recent decision to grant a construction permit to Southern Copper Corp for its proposed mine Tia Maria at the request of local authorities calling for its annulment.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian share prices opened a tad lower on mixed U.S. earnings reports and the euro held above two-year lows struck overnight after the European Central Bank held interest rates steady, though officials said a cut was certain in September.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

1030 Russia Central Bank Key Rate July

1230 US GDP Advance Q2

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 = 6.8757 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Mai Nguyen, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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