SINGAPORE, May 3 (Reuters) - Copper prices and other industrial metals rebounded slightly on Friday in thin Labour Day holiday trade, with electric vehicle maker Tesla Inc expecting a global shortage for nickel and copper.
Tesla, a major minerals consumer, saw shortages of nickel, copper and other electric-vehicle battery minerals down the road due to under-investment in the mining sector, its global supply manager for battery metals told a conference on Thursday.
Three-month copper rose 0.2 percent to $6,177.50 a tonne at 0204 GMT, rebounding from a two-and-a-half-month low hit in the previous session.
Copper has been under pressure on uncertain demand outlook from China, the world’s biggest consumer of the red metal, as the Chinese economic growth has yet shown a steady sign of stabilising after last year’s slowdown.
“Looking ahead, as supply disruptions in Chile and Peru in the second half of this year will become more apparent, this may help rebalance the market (for copper),” Helen Lau of Argonaut Securities said in a note.
“Before this happens, we are concerned that a further strength in dollar and sluggish economic report from the United States and China may further put downward pressure on copper prices overs short-term in our view,” Lau said.
* Latest data showed copper stocks in LME-approved warehouses MCUSTX-TOTAL rebounded slightly to 231,950 tonnes on Wednesday when the LME copper cash-to three month spread CMCU0-3 returned to the discount zone.
* Nickel increased 0.3 percent. Nickel stocks in LME-approved warehouses MNISTX-TOTAL was at its lowest level since April 2013, latest data showed.
* LME Asia Week, London Metal Exchange’s Hong Kong gathering of executives, traders and brokers, will kick off on Monday.
* A U.S. senator planned to introduce legislation on Thursday to streamline regulation and permitting requirements for the development of mines for electric-vehicle supply chain minerals, part of a plan to offset China’s dominance in the space.
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* Asian share markets were subdued amid thin holiday trade although the dollar found support as investors trimmed hopes for a U.S. rate cut this year while oil prices loitered near one-month lows on oversupply fears.
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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
Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Rashmi Aich