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METALS-Copper slips as China absent from market

(Updates prices)

Oct 8 (Reuters) - Copper prices on Thursday slipped from a near one-week high hit in the previous session, as top consumer China was absent from the market due to a major holiday.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.6% to $6,639 a tonne by 0715 GMT. The contract touched its highest since Oct. 1 on Wednesday at $6,710 a tonne on expectations of improving growth and robust demand.

“Essentially there’s no whale in Asia to buy it back to the level it should fundamentally be at, so it only rises back during London hours,” said a Singapore-based metals trader, adding that copper should be above $6,700 to $6,800 a tonne.

The Chinese markets will reopen on Friday after being shut for public holidays during Oct. 1 to 8.

“Prices will get a jolt again if there are strikes in Chile,” the trader added.

Copper prices have been supported recently by concerns over potential strikes in Chile, the world’s biggest producer of the metal.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME aluminium rose 0.6% to $1,793.50 a tonne, nickel advanced 0.5% to $14,670 a tonne, zinc was up 0.7% at $2,374.50 a tonne, while lead fell 0.5% to $1,793 a tonne.

* Top White House officials on Wednesday downplayed the possibility of more coronavirus relief, while House Speaker Nancy Pelosi disparaged President Donald Trump for backing away from talks on a comprehensive deal.

* Anglo American wants to explore for base metals in South Africa, but the country needs regulatory changes to make it more competitive with other mining jurisdictions.

* Charges to refine copper concentrate (ore) into metal should remain stable in 2021 as the copper industry has come through the coronavirus crisis well.

* COLUMN - China’s import boom heralds deeper rift in aluminium: Andy Home.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi

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