August 2, 2019 / 3:52 AM / 19 days ago

METALS-Copper drops to 3-week low on Trump tariff blow

(Updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, Aug 2 (Reuters) - London copper tumbled to its lowest in over three weeks after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would slap a 10% tariff on the remaining $300 billion of Chinese imports from next month.

Trump said he could raise tariffs further if China fails to move more quickly to strike a trade deal, following a lack of progress at recent trade negotiations in China.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) hit $5,808.50 a tonne, its lowest since July 9, while nickel tumbled as much as 2.9% before rebounding to fall 0.8% by 0711 GMT.

“Trump’s new Tweet has made price drop ... while China’s copper demand is actually weaker than our expectation, especially for construction, automobile and home appliances,” CRU copper analyst He Tianyu said.

LME aluminium eased 0.1%, zinc dropped 1.3%, lead fell 0.9% and tin was trading 0.1% lower.

FUNDAMENTALS

* SHANGHAI PRICES: The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dipped 0.5%, aluminium eased 0.5%, zinc fell 0.3% and lead dropped 0.6%. But nickel rose 1.4% and tin advanced 0.3%.

* BHP/NICKEL: BHP Group plans to start production of nickel sulphate in the second quarter of next year, as it ramps up sales of its nickel products to the battery industry, asset president Eddie Haegel said.

* RARE EARTHS: Shares of China’s rare earth-related firms rose, amid speculation that Beijing could use its dominant position as a supplier of rare earths for leverage in the trade war.

* CODELCO/LITHIUM: Chile’s state-owned Codelco, the world’s top copper miner, said it signed a non-binding agreement with foreign-backed miner Salar Blanco to develop a joint lithium project at the Salar de Maricunga in the country’s north.

* CHINA STIMULUS: China’s $300 billion in tax cuts aimed at stimulating its slowing economy are starting to hurt the revenues of debt-ridden provincial governments, potentially hampering their ability to implement infrastructure projects.

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

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

Reporting by Mai Nguyen, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Shounak Dasgupta

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