October 30, 2019 / 5:02 AM / 15 days ago

METALS-LME copper falls on possible U.S.-China trade deal delay

(Updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, Oct 30 (Reuters) - London copper prices fell on Wednesday, after hitting a six-week high in the previous session, as a possible delay in the trade deal between the United States and China weighed on sentiment.

The metal is often used as a gauge of global economic health. A prolonged trade dispute between the world’s two biggest economies has hurt economic growth and demand for copper.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) dipped 0.2% to $5,916 a tonne by 0701 GMT, after hitting its highest since Sept. 16 in the previous session.

The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange, however, edged up 0.2% to 47,510 yuan ($6,728.51) a tonne.

An interim trade agreement between the United States and China might not be completed in time for signing in Chile next month as expected, a U.S. administration official said, but stressing that does not mean the accord is falling apart.

“It could bring some bearish sentiment. Also, demand is weak in China and India,” said CRU copper analyst He Tianyu.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER: The global world refined copper market showed a 48,000 tonnes deficit in July, compared with a 36,000 tonnes deficit in June, the International Copper Study Group said in its latest monthly bulletin.

* ESCONDIDA: BHP said its Escondida copper mine, the world’s largest, was operating at a “reduced rate” after union workers walked off the job for part of Tuesday in solidarity with the anti-government protest movement in Chile.

* COPPER: South Korea’s LS Nikko Copper signed a contract with Canada’s First Quantum Minerals to buy 120,000 tonnes per year of copper concentrate for 15 years starting in 2020, the South Korean copper smelter said.

* INDONESIA NICKEL: Indonesia could resume nickel ore exports in one to two weeks once an investigation into violations of export rules completes, said Luhut Pandjaitan, coordinating minister overseeing maritime and mining.

* CHINA: China’s three biggest commodities exchanges said on Tuesday they would end their practice of double-counting trades from Jan. 1, 2020 and report on a single-count basis instead to help them converge with international standards.

* “The China Securities Regulatory Commission is aligning the Chinese futures markets with international norms, and (this) is an example of a small step in the continuous process of reform and opening up,” said John Browning, managing director of brokerage Bands Financial in Shanghai.

* PRICES: LME aluminium and nickel were unchanged, zinc fell 0.1%, and lead dropped 1.1%. In Shanghai, aluminium rose 0.5%, nickel advanced 0.3%, zinc eased 0.2% and lead rose 0.3%.

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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 = 7.0610 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen, additional reporting by Tom Daly in Beijing; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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