* China economic data points to weakness, euro zone slows
* U.S. industrial production data due at 1315 GMT
(Updates with official prices)
By Harpreet Bhal
LONDON, Aug 15 Copper held near its lowest level
in more than seven weeks on Friday as a downbeat outlook for the
economy in top consumer China raised concerns about demand for
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
(LME) fell to a session low of $6,823 a tonne, its weakest since
June 23, before recovering some lost ground. It failed to trade
in official rings and was bid at $6,843 a tonne, up 0.3 percent.
The metal, used in the power and construction industries, is
on track to post a 2 percent fall for the week, its steepest
drop in four weeks.
"The growth outlook for major consumer China is looking
pretty gloomy and suggests Beijing doesn't want to see a strong
rebound based on credit. It doesn't bode well for the growth
outlook for the coming months," said Robin Bhar, metals analyst
at Societe Generale.
"With the euro zone economies also stalling and the U.S.
economy blowing hot and cold, I think the outlook for global
growth and metals demand looks a lot more uncertain now than it
was a few months ago."
Fanning global demand concerns, a surprisingly sharp and
sudden drop in China's credit has strengthened the case for the
central bank to cut interest rates, but policy insiders believe
it will be reluctant to take more aggressive steps and for now
will stick to more targeted measures.
China is the world's top copper consumer, accounting for
about 40 percent of global refined demand.
Euro zone economic growth ground to a halt in the second
quarter as Germany's economy shrank and France's stagnated,
while in the United States weekly jobless claims rose more than
expected last week, though the increase did little to change
views that the labour market was strengthening.
Adding to the caution among investors were expectations of
further supply arriving in the second half to push the copper
market into a deep surplus.
The market was expected to be in a 226,000 tonne surplus by
the end of this year, a July Reuters poll showed, with the
surplus seen rising to 285,000 tonnes in 2015.
China's refined copper production rose 1.6 percent month on
month in July, increasing for a third straight month as smelters
In other metals, aluminium traded at $1,988.50 in
official rings, down 0.5 percent.
Zinc, untraded in official rings, was bid at $2,264
a tonne, down 0.5 percent. Tin was last bid at $22,375,
down 0.3 percent, and nickel was last bid at $18,550,
down 0.7 percent.
Lead traded at $2,200 a tonne, almost flat from
Thursday's last bid price.
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
Three month LME tin
(Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Sydney; Editing by
Keiron Henderson and David Goodman)