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METALS-Copper slips as investors worry about fundamentals
March 6, 2017 / 12:52 PM / in 9 months

METALS-Copper slips as investors worry about fundamentals

* Comex copper speculators cut long position in latest week

* Nickel only metal in the blue (Adds closing prices)

By Zandi Shabalala

LONDON, March 6 (Reuters) - Copper prices fell to a more than one-week low on Monday on concerns the metal had extended too much but supply disruptions at the world’s two biggest copper mines provided some support.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed 1 percent lower at $5,858 tonne, its lowest since Feb. 24.

“The super enthusiastic reception to Donald Trump and a wider positive attitude for risky assets has gone a bit too far. Things need to be put in that context of markets being overbought,” said Oxford Economics head of commodities research, Dan Smith.

Copper has risen about 15 percent since Trump was elected U.S. President in November after he pledged to increase spending on infrastructure which would benefit commodities.

In supply news, Indonesia will not back down from new rules requiring Freeport-McMoran to divest a majority stake in its local unit, its mines minister said late last week in a dispute over rights to the world’s second-biggest copper mine which has frozen exports.

Meanwhile, Chile expects economic activity growth to be hit by around one percentage point in February because of a strike at world no.1 copper mine Escondida, as copper output slides 12 percent year-on-year.

Despite this supply reduction, the copper cathode market will record a surplus, JP Morgan analyst Natasha Kaneva said.

“Global demand remains healthy but production is responding positively to higher prices in all metals, keeping pace with demand and maintaining well-supplied markets,” Kaneva said.

China, which is copper’s biggest consumer, cut its growth target this year as the world’s second-largest economy pushes through painful reforms to address a rapid build-up in debt, and erects a “firewall” against financial risks.

Speculators cut their bullish position in Comex copper futures and options by 7,851 lots to 70,660 lots, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.

Lead fell 0.3 percent to $2,243 tonne after touching its lowest in more than seven weeks at $2,199.50.

Tin ended down 0.3 percent at $19,450 a tonne.

Aluminium slipped 0.9 percent to $1,876 a tonne. The commodity hit a two-year high of $1,957 a tonne last week as China pressed on with plans to cut output by 30 percent over the winter heating season.

Zinc fell the most among the metals, down 1.2 percent to $2,740.50 a tonne while nickel rose 1 percent to $11,095 a tonne.


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 ($1 = 6.8954 Chinese yuan) (Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne; Editing by Ruth Pitchford and Ed Osmond)

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