July 23, 2018 / 5:37 AM / 3 months ago

METALS-London copper eases as trade tensions crimp demand outlook

(Adds detail, updates prices)

By Melanie Burton

MELBOURNE, July 23 (Reuters) - London copper eased on Monday but held above a one-year low hit last week on mounting concerns that escalating trade tariff spats could dent demand, although a weaker dollar cushioned losses.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper eased by 0.1 percent to $6,137 a tonne by 0520 GMT, after prices last week fell for the sixth week in a row, hitting the lowest in a year at $5,988 on Thursday.

* SHANGHAI COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper was up 1.1 percent at 48,890 yuan ($7,233) a tonne.

* TARIFFS: U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said he was ready to impose tariffs on all $500 billion of imported goods from China, threatening to escalate a clash over trade policy that has unnerved financial markets.

* ANTI-DUMPING PROBE: China on Monday launched an anti-dumping probe into stainless steel imports worth $1.3 billion, including from a privately owned Chinese mill with operations offshore, after complaints that a flood of product has damaged the local industry.

* GLOBAL ECONOMY: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned world economic leaders on Saturday that a recent wave of trade tariffs would significantly harm global growth, a day after Trump threatened a major escalation in a dispute with China.

* ZINC: LME zinc surged as shorts were forced to cover and due to a shortfall of available immediate supply. LME data showed a large short holding in the futures report, while lending guidance is enforced with a single holder of more than half LME metal. <0#LME-FBR> <0#LME-WHL>

* ALUMINIUM: Big companies in the United States from Amazon.com Inc to Toyota Motor Corp and Alcoa Corp are working to counter the effect of the Trump administration's trade policies and to head off new tariffs.

* STRIKES: Labor negotiations at Chile's Escondida copper mine, the world's largest, are frozen without signs of progress toward an agreement just over a week before the current contract expires.

* COPPER DEFICIT: The global world refined copper market showed a 98,000 tonnes deficit in April, compared with a 66,000 tonnes surplus in March, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said.

* SCRAP: China June scrap copper imports dropped 39.8 pct year-on-year to 200,000 tonnes China's General Administration of Customs said on Monday.

* SPECULATORS: Short holdings in Comex copper surged in the latest week, data from the U.S. regulator showed.

* MARKETS: Asian shares dipped on Monday on fears of more protectionist measures from the United States while the dollar declined against major currencies after U.S. President Donald Trump criticised the Federal Reserve's tightening policy.

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 = 6.7517 Chinese yuan) ($1 = 6.7590 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Richard Pullin

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