July 23, 2020 / 1:39 AM / 22 days ago

METALS-Copper slips on rising U.S.-China tensions

SINGAPORE, July 23 (Reuters) - Copper prices fell on Thursday as rising tensions between the United States and China stoked concerns of tit-for-tat retaliation between the world’s two biggest economies.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.3% at $6,468 a tonne by 0105 GMT, while the most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 1% to 51,900 yuan ($7,415.56) a tonne.

China is considering ordering the closure of the U.S. consulate in the central city of Wuhan, a person with direct knowledge of the matter said on Wednesday, after Washington told Beijing to shut its consulate in Houston, Texas.

FUNDAMENTALS

* OTHER METALS: LME aluminium fell 0.3% to $1,685.50 a tonne, nickel declined 0.2% to $13,105 a tonne while ShFE nickel dropped 1.9% to 105,260 yuan a tonne and ShFE lead decreased 1.4% to 14,870 yuan a tonne.

* NICKEL: Indonesia state miner PT Aneka Tambang produced ferronickel containing 6,447 tonnes of nickel in the second quarter, down 0.6% year-on-year, and sold ferronickel containing 6,867 tonnes of nickel, up 14% annually.

* CHINA LEAD: Chinese domestic prices of secondary lead SMM-LD-REF rose to a one-week high at 14,875 yuan a tonne, SMM data showed.

* COPPER SPREAD: The difference between LME cash and three-month copper CMCU0-3 rose to $17-a-tonne premium, a level unseen since March 2019, due to falling copper stocks MCUSTX-TOTAL and large holdings of warrants and cash contracts.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian stocks were likely to come under pressure as fresh diplomatic tensions between Washington and Beijing heightened investor jitters and overshadowed the boost to Wall Street from U.S. stimulus hopes.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0645 France Business Climate Mfg July

1230 US Initial Jobless Claims Weekly

1400 EU Consumer Confid. Flash July

$1 = 6.9988 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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