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METALS-London copper eases as China exports data fans demand concerns

(Updates prices)

HANOI, June 7 (Reuters) - London copper prices fell on Monday, as lower-than-expected Chinese exports data sparked concerns of weakening demand for the red metal, which is often considered a bellwether of the global economy due to its wide industrial uses.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.5% at $9,903 a tonne, as of 0725 GMT, while the most-traded July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 0.4% at 71,390 yuan ($11,155.73) a tonne, tracking gains in London made in the previous session.

China’s exports in May grew 27.9% on-year, but slower than the 32.3% growth in April, and missing analysts’ forecast of 32.1%, with an economist attributing a COVID-19 outbreak in manufacturing hub Guangdong that slowed down activities at its ports to the fall in shipments.

“The only news that came out since (the dip) is the China export data,” said a Singapore-based metals trader.

“Friday’s rebound had already run its course, so there’s a need to retrace lower first before it (price) can go up. The medium-long term view is still bullish due to a weaker U.S. dollar,” the trader added, referring to a 1.7% gain in London on Friday.

FUNDAMENTALS

* ShFE aluminium advanced 0.7% to 18,435 yuan a tonne, nickel fell 1.1% to 129,530 yuan a tonne, tin rose 0.4% to 203,420 yuan a tonne, while lead was down 1% at 14,945 yuan a tonne.

* LME nickel shed 1.6% to $17,730 a tonne while zinc declined 0.9% to $2,983 a tonne.

* Russian nickel producer Nornickel has resumed ore mining at the second of its two mines hit by flooding this year.

* Global copper smelting extended its rebound in May, touching fresh highs for the year as operations continued to take advantage of strong prices, data from satellite surveillance of copper plants showed.

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$1 = 6.3994 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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