January 18, 2018 / 1:39 AM / in 6 months

METALS-Shanghai metals lower as weaker China GDP data looms

SYDNEY, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Shanghai base metals futures were under pressure ahead of the release of data later on Thursday that is expected to show China’s economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter.

The near-across-the board decline was lead by copper and aluminium, which are trading at one-month lows.

Analysts polled by Reuters expect the world’s second-largest economy to have grown 6.7 percent in the October-December quarter from a year earlier, cooling from the previous quarter’s 6.8 percent pace.

The release of China’s fourth-quarter and 2017 GDP data, including for December factory output, retail sales and fixed-asset investment, is scheduled for 0700 GMT, a delay from its usual 0200 GMT release time.

FUNDAMENTALS

* SHFE COPPER: The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was down 0.4 percent by 0115 GMT at 53,443 yuan ($8,307) a tonne, the lowest since Dec. 19.

* LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange bumped up 0.1 percent to $7,044 a tonne, reversing losses from the previous session.

* BHP: BHP’s copper output jumped 20 percent to 429,000 tonnes in the quarter to end-December helped by a rise in production from its Escondida copper mine in Chile. * SHFE ALUMINIUM: ShFE aluminium was down 0.3 percent to 14,680 a tonne. LME aluminium was showing a modest gain to $2,197.50 a tonne.

* ALCOA: Aluminium producer Alcoa Corp reported a bigger quarterly loss on Wednesday, hurt by the closure and divestiture of some smelting assets.

* COPPER BOOST: Chile’s state copper commission, Cochilco, on Wednesday raised its estimated 2018 average price for the metal to $3.06 per pound from its previous forecast of $2.95 per pound, pointing to the potential for global supply disruptions in the coming year.

* LEAD SURPLUS: The global lead market showed a surplus of 15,600 tonnes in November after a deficit of 11,100 tonnes in October, data from the Lisbon-based International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG) showed on Wednesday.

: LEAD PRICES: Despite the shift to a surplus, ShFE lead was 0.60 percent firmer, while LME lead was 0.5 percent stronger at $2,560.25

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian stocks were near record highs on Thursday, with a rally by Wall Street supporting bullish investor sentiment, while the dollar pulled back from three-year lows as the euro’s recent rally lost steam.

DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0130 China House prices Dec 0700 China GDP Q4 0700 China Industrial output Dec 0700 China Retail sales Dec 0700 China Urban investment Dec 1330 U.S. Housing starts Dec 1330 U.S. Building permits Dec 1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims 1330 U.S. Philly Fed business index Jan

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 = 6.4330 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by James Regan; editing by Richard Pullin

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