January 4, 2019 / 7:25 AM / 2 months ago

METALS-Copper recovers on fresh round of U.S.-China trade talk plans

(Recasts with U.S.-China trade talks, updates prices)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, Jan 4 (Reuters) - London copper rose more than 2 percent on Friday, recovering from an 18-month low hit in the previous session, as investor sentiment was bolstered by China’s announcement of a new round of trade talks with the United States.

But the market is facing its biggest weekly drop in almost two months on worries over slowing growth in top industrial metals consumer China.

COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 2.1 percent at $5,856 a tonne, as of 0704 GMT, and the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slid 0.1 percent to close at 47,180 yuan ($6,872.74) a tonne.

WEEKLY MOVES: For the week, LME copper is down 2.4 percent, the biggest weekly decline since early November, while prices in Shanghai slipped 2.8 percent this week, the most since mid-August.

TALKS: China and the United States will hold vice- ministerial level trade talks in Beijing on Jan. 7-8, as the two sides look to end a dispute that is inflicting increasing pain on both economies and roiling global financial markets.

SERVICE SECTOR: China’s services sector extended its solid expansion in December, offering some cushion for the slowing economy, a private survey showed on Friday.

PMI: The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to a six-month high of 53.9 in December, up from 53.8 in the previous month and well above the 50.0 mark separating growth from contraction.

DATA: “The economic data has started the day on positive news with Chinese PMI numbers improving over the previous month which has also supported the metals and later today there are the U.S. PMI and payroll numbers to come and if they can also show an improvement it may calm the nerves of the global markets,” Malcolm Freeman, director of Kingdom Futures, said in a note.

RESERVE REQUIREMENT: China will cut banks’ reserve requirement ratios (RRRs), taxes and fees, Premier Li Keqiang said on Friday, as the world’s second-largest economy shows further signs of cooling.

SLOWING GROWTH: China’s economic growth could fall below 6.5 percent in the fourth quarter as companies face increased difficulties, a central bank magazine said on Wednesday.

ZAMBIA: Mining companies operating in Zambia have failed to show how higher taxes introduced this year will affect their profitability despite objecting to the new framework, a senior government official said on Thursday.

Africa’s second-largest copper producer increased its sliding scale for royalties of 4 to 6 percent by 1.5 percentage points from Jan. 1 and introduced a new 10 percent tax when the price of copper exceeds $7,500 per tonne.

PRICES

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 = 6.8648 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Rashmi Aich

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