* China GDP grows 7.8 pct in Q3, matching forecast
* Three-month LME copper up 0.4 pct to $7,255
* LME copper on track for modest weekly gain
* 2014 copper outlook bearish, say analysts
By Manolo Serapio Jr
SINGAPORE, Oct 18 London copper futures edged up
on Friday, supported by data showing China's economy grew as
forecast in the third quarter, although concerns its upward
momentum may be short-lived limited price gains.
China's economy grew 7.8 percent in July-September, its
fastest pace this year, as firmer foreign and domestic demand
lifted factory production and retail sales.
China is the top consumer of copper, accounting for 40
percent of global copper use.
But the outlook going forward is not as rosy amid volatile
global demand and Beijing's reforms aimed at more sustainable
growth, analysts say.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose
0.4 percent to $7,255 a tonne by 0711 GMT. The metal has traded
in a tight range of $7,139-$7,300 this week, and is up 0.7
percent for the week so far.
"The strong GDP number implies solid and growing demand for
copper," said Helen Lau, senior metals analyst at UOB Kay Hian
Securities in Hong Kong.
"But I haven't really changed my bearish view for 2014 and
2015 because we expect China's industrial production growth to
slow as the growth becomes less investment-driven."
After three decades of expansion fuelled by exports and
investment, Beijing is trying to shift the economic mix so that
activity is geared much more towards consumption. That means a
slowdown from the double-digit growth of previous years.
China's copper imports jumped 18 percent from August to hit
an 18-month high in September as end-users rebuilt inventories,
although analysts said the chances of the momentum being
sustained may be slim as recent improvements in the economy
Copper could average $6,825 in 2014 compared to a projected
$7,304 this year, said Lau of UOB Kay Hian.
The most-traded January copper contract on the Shanghai
Futures Exchange closed up 0.3 percent at 52,250 yuan
($8,600) a tonne.
Concern over the impact of the 16-day shutdown on the U.S.
government has also weighed on investor sentiment, trapping
prices in narrow ranges.
U.S. federal agencies resumed operations on Thursday after
lawmakers passed legislation to sustain funding and avoid a debt
default. But economists warned the shutdown had chipped away 0.1
percentage point each week from fourth-quarter U.S. gross
"The damage to the (U.S.) economy is real," INTL FCStone
analyst Edward Meir said in a note.
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