June 22, 2018 / 4:09 AM / 5 months ago

METALS-Copper set to drop for second week, China demand concerns drag

(Adds comment, updates prices)

By Naveen Thukral

SINGAPORE, June 22 (Reuters) - Copper prices were on Friday poised to decline for a second week, pressured by fears that trade conflict between Washington and Beijing would hit demand in China, the top consumer of industrial metals.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had risen 0.2 percent to $6,800 a tonne by 0348 GMT, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was largely unchanged at 51,750 yuan ($7,956.64) a tonne.

For the week, LME copper is down 3.1 percent and prices in Shanghai have dropped 3.3 percent.

Fears of a full-blown trade war with the United States have magnified concerns about China’s economic outlook following weaker-than-expected growth data for May.

China’s economy is starting to cool under the weight of a multi-year crackdown on riskier lending that is pushing up borrowing costs for companies and consumers, with data pointing to a broad slowdown in activity in May.

“There is downward pressure on copper because of tightening credit,” said Meng Jie Wu, copper analyst CRU in Beijing. “Of course a potential trade war between the U.S. and China is going to put more pressure on prices.”

* TRADE TENSIONS: U.S. President Donald Trump threatened on Monday to hit $200 billion of Chinese imports with 10 percent tariffs if China retaliates against his previous targeting of $50 billion in imports.

* COPPER STOCKS: The cancellation of 14,225 tonnes of copper in LME-registered warehouses pushed on-warrant stocks available to the market down to 252,375 tonnes. However, this is still up around 20,000 tonnes from the start of June, signalling good supply. MCUSTX-TOTAL

* COPPER PRODUCTION: The global refined copper market had a surplus of 55,000 tonnes in March and 87,000 tonnes in February, the International Copper Study Group said. Chinese data, meanwhile, showed refined copper output rose 15.5 percent in May from a year earlier.

* CHINA ECONOMY: In a bid to keep growth steady, China will use targeted cuts in banks’ reserve requirement ratios and other policy tools to boost credit support for small firms, state radio quoted a cabinet meeting as saying.

* PHILIPPINES: A government panel cleared 23 of 27 Philippine mines that were assessed for compliance with state regulations, easing uncertainty about potential supply disruptions at the world’s No. 2 nickel ore supplier.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or

MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares were under pressure on Friday on signs U.S. trade battles with China and many other countries are starting to chip away at corporate profits, with oil prices choppy ahead of major producers meeting to discuss raising output.

DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0645 France GDP Final Q1 0700 France Markit manufacturing PMI Jun 0700 France Markit services PMI Jun 0730 Germany Markit manufacturing PMI Jun 0730 Germany Markit services PMI Jun 0800 Euro zone Markit manufacturing PMI Jun 0800 Euro zone Markit services PMI Jun 1345 U.S. Markit manufacturing PMI Jun 1345 U.S. Markit services PMI Jun

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 = 6.5040 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford

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