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Markets

Copper ticks up on China stimulus hopes

SINGAPORE: Copper prices advanced on Monday as China announced new measures to support its economy amid a damaging trade

Aug 19 2019

SINGAPORE: Copper prices advanced on Monday as China announced new measures to support its economy amid a damaging trade war with the United States, potentially improving demand for the red metal.

China's central bank over the weekend unveiled a key interest rate reform in a bid to help steer borrowing costs lower for companies.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.4% to $5,764 a tonne by 0410 GMT, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange edged up 0.2% to 46,510 yuan ($6,602.22) a tonne.

However, the metal's rise was capped by weak data that showed the Chinese economy continues to be hurt by an ongoing trade war with the United States, while a trade deal is not yet in sight.

FUNDAMENTALS

* NOT READY: U.S. President Donald Trump said he was less optimistic than his aides on striking a trade deal with China, saying that while he believed China was ready to come to an agreement, "I'm not ready to make a deal yet."

* COPPER STOCKS: Copper inventories in LME-registered warehouses have jumped by 22% in three days to 331,975 tonnes, while stocks in warehouses tracked by Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 4.1% in a week. <MCUSTX-TOTAL> <CU-STX-SGH>

* NICKEL SPREAD: The premium of LME cash nickel over the three-month contract <CMNI0-3> eased from a decade-high of $40 a tonne to $22 a tonne, suggesting nearby supply tightness has eased but the market was still relatively tight.

* NICKEL STOCKS: Nickel stocks in LME-approved warehouses hovered around their six-year lows at 145,134 tonnes. <MNISTX-TOTAL>

* PHILIPPINES: The Philippines' top exporter of high-grade nickel ore is expected to shut its mining operations soon as ore deposits are nearly depleted.

* "Nickel was the best of the bunch as supply side issues helped support prices," ANZ said in a note.

* SHANGHAI NICKEL: But Shanghai's on-warrant nickel stocks, or those available for delivery, reached their highest since May 2018 on Friday at 28,695 tonnes <SNI-TOTAL-W>.

* NICKEL PRICES: LME nickel fell 0.6% while Shanghai nickel was almost unchanged.

* JAPAN COPPER: Japan's copper cable shipments rose 8.1% to 64,300 tonnes in July from a year earlier, the Japan Electric Wire and Cable Makers' Association said.

* LITHIUM: China's Ganfeng Lithium  said on Sunday it had completed a $160 million deal to raise its stake in the Cauchari-Olaroz lithium brine project in Argentina to 50%.

* PRICES: London aluminium rose 0.2%, zinc fell 0.2% while lead eased 0.2%. In Shanghai, aluminium  rose 0.5% while tin dropped 2.5%.

Copyright Reuters, 2019