November 15, 2019 / 11:52 AM / 3 months ago

METALS-Base metals suffer weekly losses demand outlook worsens

 (Updates with closing prices)
    By Peter Hobson
    LONDON, Nov 15 (Reuters) - Copper and other base metals
prices were set for weekly falls on Friday as concerns that
weakening global economic growth is curtailing demand outweighed
comments by a U.S. official that a trade deal with China was
    Benchmark copper         on the London Metal Exchange (LME)
ended up 0.6% at $5,849 a tonne but down more than 1% on the
week, slipping towards September's two-year low of $5,518. 
    Other industrial metals were down between 3% and 7.5% from
last Friday's close. 
    The U.S.-China trade dispute has hampered global economic
activity and pushed metals prices sharply lower. 
    Investors have become increasingly wary of believing
positive comments about the prospect of a trade deal, said
Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann. 
    "Uncertainty will still dictate the direction of prices," he
said, adding that metals would likely fall further.
    TRADE WAR: White House economic advisor Larry Kudlow said on
Thursday the United States and China were getting close to an
agreement and were talking every day.             
    Adding to an upbeat tone, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
said there would be a call between U.S. and Chinese officials
later on Friday.                 
    COPPER TECHNICALS: Copper was holding just above its 50-day
moving average of $5,813 and 100-day moving average of $5,827. A
move below these levels would worsen its technical outlook. 
    POSITIONING: Speculators were neutral in LME copper as of
Tuesday, according to brokers Marex Spectron. 
    CHINA PREMIUMS: Yangshan import premiums fell to a
three-month low of $68 this week, signalling weaker demand. On
Friday they were at $71. SMM-CUYP-CN 
    CHINA ECONOMY: China's industrial output grew significantly
more slowly than expected in October, underlining fears of a
sharp drop in demand in the world's largest consumer of metals.
    China's central bank is expected to cut a key interest rate
next week after it extended 200 billion yuan ($28.6 billion)
through its medium-term lending facility on Friday.             
    CHINA PRODUCTION: China's October refined copper output rose
17.9% year-on-year to a record high of 868,000 tonnes.
Production of lead, zinc and alumina also rose.             
    ALUMINIUM STOCKS: Japan's Marubeni Corp said aluminium
stocks held at three major Japanese ports at the end of October
fell 2.6% to 318,200 tonnes from the previous month.
    Headline aluminium inventories in LME-registered warehouses
rose by 44,200 tonnes to a little under 1.1 million tonnes, the
highest since June. MALSTX-TOTAL    
    OTHER METALS: LME aluminium         finished up 0.8% at
$1,755 a tonne and down nearly 3% this week. Zinc         fell
0.7% to $2,380 and was down nearly 4% this week. Nickel        
ended 1% lower at $14,975 and around 7.5% lower this week. 
    Lead         closed 1% down at $1,997 and was down nearly 5%
for the week. Tin         slipped 0.6% to $16,100 and was around
3.5% lower this week. 

 (Reporting by Peter Hobson; Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen;
Editing by Jan Harvey and David Evans)
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