July 17, 2018 / 1:56 AM / a month ago

METALS-Copper prices rebound, but Chinese growth worries cap gains

SINGAPORE, July 17 (Reuters) - Copper prices bounced back on Tuesday after coming under pressure in the previous session on concerns over slowing economic growth in top industrial metals consumer China.

China’s economy expanded at a slower pace in the second quarter as Beijing’s efforts to contain debt hurt activity, while June factory output growth weakened to a two-year low in a worrying sign for investment and exporters as a trade war with the United States intensified.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had risen 0.7 percent to $6,235.50 a tonne by 0132 GMT and the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange added 0.1 percent to 49,040 yuan ($7,335.17) a tonne.

FUNDAMENTALS

* INVENTORIES: Headline stocks of copper in LME-registered warehouses gained 1,525 tonnes to 257,200 tonnes on Monday, but were still at their lowest levels since January. MCUSTX-TOTAL

* TRADE WAR: China’s commerce ministry said on Monday it had filed a complaint to the World Trade Organization (WTO) regarding Washington’s proposed tariff list on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods on July 16.

* INVESTORS: Copper speculators switched to a net short position of 12,919 contracts, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said last week, the weakest position since December 2016.

* ALUMINIUM SUPPLY: China’s aluminium producers are responding to tighter supply conditions by boosting output, data showed. China’s June output rose by 0.8 percent to 2.83 million tonnes, which on daily basis was the highest since June 2017, according to Reuters’ calculations based on official data.

* Shanghai zinc futures lost 2 percent and lead fell 1.9 percent on worries over Washington-Beijing trade war curbing demand.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian stocks sagged on Tuesday, weighed by a sharp decline in crude oil prices as Libyan ports reopened, while the dollar was on the defensive ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s first congressional testimony.

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 = 6.6856 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Naveen Thukral Editing by Joseph Radford

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