June 5, 2018 / 1:32 AM / 2 months ago

METALS-Copper little changed after rally, supply concerns support prices

SINGAPORE, June 5 (Reuters) - Copper was largely unchanged on Tuesday as the market took a breather after climbing to a near two-week high in the previous session on support from potential supply disruptions amid wage talks at the world's biggest mine.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange dipped 0.1 percent to $6,965 a tonne by 0124 GMT, but was still not far from Monday's peak of $6,992 a tonne, the highest since May 22.

* The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained 0.4 percent to 52,050 yuan ($8,126) a tonne.

* The union at BHP's, Escondida mine in Chile said on Friday that it had begun negotiations with a proposal that includes a bonus of about $34,000 per worker.

* The closely-watched talks come little more than a year after failure to reach a labour deal at the mine led to a 44-day strike that jolted the global copper market.

* Still, concerns over demand in China, the world's top industrial metals consumer kept a lid on the market. China's economic growth could slow to about 4.5 percent over the medium term, Fitch Ratings said, adding that it expects oil and metals prices to fall by 5-10 percent from its baseline scenario because China is such a large consumer.

* Positioning by speculative investors in LME copper was largely neutral, brokers at Marex Spectron said.

* China's Chinalco said it had begun a $1.3 billion expansion of its Toromocho mine in Peru, which it said would raise copper output by 45 percent by 2020. China's official Xinhua news agency said Chinalco aimed to bring annual refined copper output to 300,000 tonnes.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian stocks dipped on Tuesday as the markets took a breather after the previous day's rally, although tech-inspired Wall Street gains helped limit the losses, with investor focus moving away from trade concerns and back to benign economic fundamentals.

DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0145 China Caixin services PMI May 0645 France Budget balance Apr 0750 France Markit services PMI May 0755 Germany Markit services PMI May 0800 Euro zone Markit services PMI final May 0900 Euro zone Retail sales Apr 1400 U.S. ISM non-manufacturing PMI May

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 = 6.4050 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Naveen Thukral; editing by Richard Pullin

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