November 18, 2019 / 12:36 PM / 23 days ago

METALS-Copper slips on uncertainty over U.S.-China trade war

    * GRAPHIC-2019 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl
    * Nickel slips to lowest since Aug. 7

 (Updates with prices lower)
    By Zandi Shabalala
    LONDON, Nov 18 (Reuters) - Copper prices ended lower on
Monday in response to doubts over whether a U.S.-China trade
deal can be reached soon, possibly prolonging pressure on global
growth and metals demand.
    A CNBC report said Beijing was pessimistic about reaching a
trade deal with Washington because U.S. President Donald Trump
was reluctant to roll back some tariffs.             
    "A lot of the optimism over the last few weeks regarding a 
quick end to the trade war seems to have petered out," said
Capital Economics analyst Keiran Clancy. 
    "We are still probably a long way off from a comprehensive
trade deal and irrespective of that global growth is going to
remain muted for the rest of the year and keep a lid on metals
prices." 
    Benchmark copper         on the London Metal Exchange (LME)
ended 0.3% lower at $5,830 a tonne. The metal, used in power and
construction, shed 1.3% last week.
    
    CHINA STIMULUS: Helping to support prices was China's move
to unexpectedly cut its lending rate as growth in the world's
second-largest economy was cooled by the protracted trade war.
                        
    China accounts for nearly half of global copper consumption
estimated at 24 million tonnes this year.
    GLOBAL GROWTH: The World Trade Organization said growth in
global goods trade is expected to remain "below trend" in the
fourth quarter amid tensions and rising tariffs in key sectors.
            
    HUAWEI: Sources told Reuters that the Trump administration
was set to issue a 90-day extension of a licence on Monday
allowing U.S. companies to continue doing business with China's
Huawei Technologies         .             
    CHINA INVESTMENT: Foreign direct investment in China rose
6.6% from a year earlier to 752.41 billion yuan ($107.58
billion) in the first 10 months of the year and is expected to
remain stable over the full year, the commerce ministry said.
                   
    COPPER OUTPUT: China's October refined copper output rose
17.9% year-on-year to a record high of 868,000 tonnes.
Production of lead, zinc and alumina also increased.
            
    NICKEL STUDY: Indonesia's anti-monopoly agency has begun a
preliminary study of the country's nickel smelting sector, an
agency official said on Monday, after a miners' association
accused big nickel smelters of conducting a cartel.             
    RUSAL: Russian aluminium group Rusal has faced tough
negotiations with clients over 2020 supply contracts as trade
wars and an economic slowdown have created a "buyer's market"
for the metal, its sales director said.             
    ALUMINIUM INVENTORIES: Aluminium inventories in LME-approved
warehouses MALSTX-TOTAL jumped 91,075 tonnes or 8.6% to 1.2
million tonnes. Stock levels have risen about 22% since Nov. 12
and are being delivered to warehouses in Malysia and Singapore. 
    
    PRICES: Aluminium         was down 1% at $1,738 a tonne,
zinc         fell 1.5% to $2,344, lead         touched its
lowest since Aug. 8 and ended down 2.2% at $1,953.50, tin
        slipped 0.2% to $16,060, while nickel         ended 0.9%
lower at $14,848, after touching its lowest in more than three
months. 

 (Reporting by Zandi Shabalala
Editing by Chizu Nomiyama/Louise Heavens/Jane Merriman)
  
 
 
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