METALS-Copper falls on concerns slowing economic growth to dent demand

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SINGAPORE, Oct 17 (Reuters) – Copper prices edged down on Thursday because of worries that slowing global economic growth will cause a fall in demand for industrial metals.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.1% to $5,724 a tonne by 0702 GMT, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange declined 0.5% to 46,650 yuan ($6,574.96) a tonne.

U.S. retail sales fell for the first time in seven months in September, suggesting that manufacturing-led weakness could be spreading to the broader economy amid an ongoing trade war with China that has dragged to its 15th month.

“The International Monetary Fund warned that global economic risks have risen as central banks lower borrowing costs. The subsequent build-up of financial vulnerabilities could put medium term growth at risk,” said ANZ in a note.

“While (President Donald) Trump still expects a trade deal with China to be signed soon, tensions between the two countries remain fragile. All this created a bearish mood in the base metal market,” ANZ said.

FUNDAMENTALS

* NICKEL: The global nickel market deficit tightened to 100 tonnes in August from a revised shortfall of 7,000 tonnes in the previous month, the International Nickel Study Group said.

* COPPER: China’s top copper smelters on Thursday lifted their floor treatment and refining charges for the fourth quarter of 2019 by 20% from the previous quarter, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

* LEAD: Henan Yuguang Gold and Lead, China’s largest lead producer, plans to set up a lead-acid battery production line as part of a downstream expansion, a company official said on Wednesday.

* TRADE TALKS: U.S. and Chinese trade negotiators are working to nail down a Phase-1 deal text for their presidents to sign next month, while U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said he was prepared to travel to Beijing for more meetings.

* LME FEES: The LME will raise its trading and clearing fees by 8% from January 2020, its first increase in five years to fund new projects and keep up with inflation, it said on Wednesday.

* PRICES: LME aluminium fell 0.3%, nickel declined 1.2% and zinc was down 0.6%. Shanghai aluminium advanced 0.3%, nickel fell 3%, zinc lost 1.3%, while lead advanced 1.1%.

(Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Rashmi Aich)


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