* Freeport ramps up production at Indonesian mine
* Metals to remain under pressure as supply rises
* Coming next: U.S. jobless data; 1330 GMT
By Silvia Antonioli and Naveen Thukral
LONDON/SINGAPORE, June 26 Copper was steady on Thursday after a
1 percent loss the previous session, as worries over China's credit crunch eased
and on expectations that the U.S. and EU central banks will not rush to reduce
their stimulus programmes but oversupply concerns weighed on metals.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was little changed,
trading at $6,731 a tonne in official rings from $6,735 at the close on
The metal, used in power and construction, has lost almost 15 percent this
In top metals consumer China, stocks clawed back some of their recent heavy
losses and cash markets steadied, but gains were capped by concerns that last
week's severe cash crunch was ushering in a period of tougher funding conditions
and slower economic growth.
Demand from China accounts for about 40 percent of global copper
"For industrial metals, China is in the driving seat and the story of the
credit crunch is a bit of a problem," Credit Suisse analyst Tobias Merath said.
"Today the situation has improved a bit but we don't expect any major
rebound; we don't see the fundamentals for that, with liquidity problems in
China, forward looking indicators not looking too well and a lot more supply
coming in the metals markets."
Copper was supported by a downward revision on Wednesday of U.S. economic
growth estimates for the first quarter, easing worries that the Federal Reserve
might soon curb the massive monetary stimulus that has boosted commodity prices.
European Central Bank (ECB) president Mario Draghi reiterated on Wednesday
that an ECB exit from its loose monetary policy remains distant, offering
additional support for the markets.
In the longer term, copper is expected to remain under pressure from slowing
growth in China and expectations of a bigger global surplus.
"We remain bearish on copper," said Joyce Liu, an investment analyst at
Phillip Futures in Singapore.
"The market was supported by talk of output disruptions, but now producers
are ramping up supplies at a time when there is excess supply in the market."
Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc is increasing up production at
its Indonesian unit, a company spokeswoman said, six weeks after a deadly tunnel
collapse at the world's No. 2 copper mine halted operations.
In other metals, three-month aluminium traded at $1,764 a tonne in
rings, from $1,771 at Wednesday's close.
China has increased orders for spot shipments of aluminium in the past week
as prices in the international market have fallen close to four-year lows,
dipping below the price of locally produced metal.
Battery material lead traded at $2,042.50 from $2,031 while zinc
, untraded in rings, was bid at $1,844.50 from $1,838 Wednesday's close.
Tin was unchanged at $19,700 and nickel traded at $13,720