By Melanie Burton
MELBOURNE, Oct 19 (Reuters) - London copper steadied on Friday as investors were heartened by China’s pledge to support its economy after growth slowed to the weakest since 2009, but the metal was still on course for its deepest weekly decline in two months.
Chinese regulators pledged support for firms facing liquidity problems on Friday, soothing sentiment and spurring markets from metals to stocks to claw back losses after a ream of reports showed China’s economy had been weakening.
“China ... is now starting to kick-start the domestic economy with focus being turned to start up infrastructure projects as soon as possible and not get distracted totally by the trade war with the USA,” broker Kingdom Futures said in a report.
London Metal Exchange copper was flat at $6,162 a tonne by 0716 GMT, after dropping 1 percent on Thursday. But the industrial metal was still down 2.2 percent so far for the week, its biggest such loss since mid-August.
Copper hit a one-week low of $6,121.50 on Thursday and has been trading between $5,780 struck in mid-August and $6,400 touched earlier this month. On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, copper ended little changed at 50,160 yuan ($7,233) a tonne.
* CHINA ECONOMY: China’s economic growth in the third quarter slowed to its weakest pace since the global financial crisis, and missed expectations, as a years-long campaign to tackle debt risks and the trade war with the United States began to bite.
* CHINA ALUMINIUM OUTPUT: China’s primary aluminium production fell for a second straight month in September and slid to its lowest level since May, as weaker aluminium prices and higher input costs led smelters to cut back output.
* TIN: Indonesia Commodity & Derivatives Exchange (ICDX) has suspended trading of tin ingots and tin ore with origin verified by PT Surveyor Indonesia. Tin is required to trade on the ICDX before export, so the news may cause a short term disruption and support prices, a tin analyst said.
* NICKEL: The global nickel market deficit narrowed to 7,100 tonnes in August from the previous month’s revised deficit of 16,500 tonnes, the International Nickel Study Group said. LME nickel stocks have slumped by 43 percent since this time last year to around 220,000 tonnes.
* CHINA STEEL: China’s daily steel output hit a record high of 2.7 million tonnes in September, as mills in the world’s top producer cashed in on strong profit margins before the start of winter production curbs aimed at tackling smog.
* METALS: Most LME metals were barely changed from Thursday’s close, including lead and aluminium. Nickel climbed 1.1 percent to $12,485 a tonne, while tin gained 0.7 percent to $19,165, finding support from the potential disruption at the Indonesian commodity exchange.
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 = 6.9349 Chinese yuan)
Reporting by Melanie Burton, additional reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr. in MANILA; Editing by Joseph Radford and Vyas Mohan