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METALS-Copper dips as China inflation reinforces growth worries
July 9, 2013 / 10:21 AM / 4 years ago

METALS-Copper dips as China inflation reinforces growth worries

* China CPI accelerated more than expected in June
    * Nickel hits fresh four-year low
    * Coming Up: U.S. employment trends at 1400 GMT

    By Maytaal Angel
    LONDON, July 9 (Reuters) - Copper edged lower on Tuesday as
China inflation data reinforced worries about slowing growth in
the world's top copper consumer,  though risk appetite in the
wider markets and oversold conditions kept losses in check.
    Copper, down nearly 15 percent for the year, fell on Friday
after strong U.S. jobs data bolstered concerns that the Federal
Reserve could start winding down its stimulus programme as early
as September. 
    After steadying on Monday, the metal resumed its downtrend
after data from China showed its annual consumer inflation
accelerated more than expected in June. 
    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was
at $6,770 a tonne by 0940 GMT, drifting lower by 0.88 percent.
Copper has struggled to get any traction after inching away from
a three-year low of $6,602 a tonne reached on June 25. 
    "The Chinese CPI reduces the likelihood of China doing more
stimulus," said William Adams, head of research at
    "We're moving into a market surplus and copper is well above
the cost of production. Overall I'd be neutral to bearish for
copper but a lot of negative news has been priced in and that
might prompt short covering (in the near term)," he added. 
    In the wider markets, world shares extended gains, spurred
by a good start to the U.S. earnings season and by a deal to
drip-feed Greece the latest 6.8 billion euro instalment of its
    But the optimism had yet to help copper, with investors
still nervous ahead of a slew of China data this week that is
expected to show growth is grinding towards a 23-year low.
Chinese trade numbers are due on July 10 and GDP on July 15.
    "While we believe that Fed tapering expectation and USD
strength could sustain the headwinds for industrial metals,
speculative net shorts in copper are at all time high.  At the
same time, we expect China's copper imports to recover
modestly," said Deutsche Bank in a note.
    China's imports of copper likely extended gains in June from
a month ago as falling prices spurred purchases, traders said.
But slowing growth means shipments for the first six months of
2013 probably stayed in the red. 
    Also weighing on copper was the prospect of extra supply.
Copper concentrate shipments to China from Mongolia's giant Oyu
Tolgoi mine kicked off on Tuesday. The mine is expected at full
tilt to produce around 450,000 tonnes of copper. 
    In addition, Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc 
has received Indonesian government permission to resume
underground operations at the world's second-biggest copper
mine, nearly two months after a tunnel cave-in that killed 28
    In other metals traded, soldering metal tin fell
1.03 percent to $19,250 a tonne, while nickel dropped
0.97 percent to $13,300 a tonne, having earlier hit a fresh
four-year low at $13,275 a tonne, as LME stocks remained near a
recent record high of 193,776 tonnes.
    Refined tin shipments from Indonesia, the world's top
exporter of the metal, rose 20 percent in June to 11,111.38
tonnes, from 9,242.05 tonnes in May, a trade ministry official
said on Tuesday. 
    Aluminium fell 0.89 percent to $1,787 a tonne.
    Alcoa Inc, the largest U.S. aluminium producer, still
sees global demand for aluminium products growing 7 percent this
year, signalling a potential price rise for the metal as bulging
Chinese aluminium inventories begin to dwindle. 
 Metal Prices at 0949 GMT
 Comex copper in cents/lb, LME prices in $/T and SHFE prices
 in yuan/T
  Metal            Last      Change  Pct Move   End 2012   Ytd
  COMEX Cu         3.08       -0.03     -0.84     365.25   
  LME Alum      1787.25      -15.75     -0.87    2073.00   
  LME Cu        6770.00      -60.00     -0.88    7931.00   
  LME Lead      2050.75      -20.25     -0.98    2330.00   
  LME Nickel   13291.00     -139.00     -1.03   17060.00   
  LME Tin      19271.00     -179.00     -0.92   23400.00   
  LME Zinc      1863.00      -17.00     -0.90    2080.00   
  SHFE Alu     14250.00       20.00     +0.14   15435.00    
  SHFE Cu*     49310.00      160.00     +0.33   57690.00   
  SHFE Zin     14535.00      110.00     +0.76   15625.00    
 ** Benchmark month for COMEX copper
 * 3rd contract month for SHFE AL, CU and ZN
 SHFE ZN began trading on 26/3/07

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