December 19, 2019 / 3:20 AM / 2 months ago

METALS-Copper slips on profit-taking, caution after recent trade deal rally

SINGAPORE, Dec 19 (Reuters) - Copper prices edged down on Thursday due to some profit taking and caution by investors after a recent rally, boosted by an interim Sino-U.S. trade deal and hopes of improving demand in top consumer China.

Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) fell 0.1% to $6,170 a tonne by 0248 GMT, having gained in eight out of the last 11 sessions. The contract hit its highest in seven months on Tuesday.

The most traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) dipped 0.2% to 49,020 yuan ($6,964.16) a tonne.

China's factory activity showed surprising signs of improvement in November, while the United States and China reached an preliminary agreement to resolve their 17-month-long trade war that hurt global economic growth and metals demand.

However, both outlook for further trade negotiations and China's longer-term economic performance remained uncertain, capping further gains in copper prices.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER STOCKS: Copper prices were supported by depleting copper stocks in warehouses approved by the LME MCUSTX-TOTAL, which fell to a nine-month low at 160,825 tonnes.

* OTHER PRICES: LME aluminium rose 0.1% to $1,779 a tonne, nickel advanced 0.2% to $13,895 a tonne, zinc rallied 0.5% to $2,313.50 a tonne and lead gained 0.5% to $1,935 a tonne.

* SHANGHAI PRICES: ShFE aluminium rallied 0.6% to 14,140 yuan a tonne, nickel fell 0.8% to 109,170 yuan a tonne, zinc eased 0.1% to 17,890 yuan a tonne while lead climbed 1.1% to 15,040 yuan a tonne.

* ANTOFAGASTA: Chile's Antofagasta said on Wednesday it had kicked off the environmental permitting process for its $1.7 billion Twin Metals copper, nickel and platinum mining project in the United States.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares edged higher amid growing confidence in the global outlook following improving economic indicators and a preliminary trade deal between the United States and China.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT

0745 France Business Climate Mfg Dec

0930 UK Retail Sales MM, YY Nov

0930 UK Retail Sales Ex-Fuel MM Nov

1200 UK BOE Bank Rate Dec

1200 UK GB BOE QE Corp Dec

1330 US Initial Jobless Claims Weekly

1330 US Philly Fed Business Indx Dec

1500 US Existing Home Sales Nov

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 = 7.0389 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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