(Adds comments, updates prices)
MANILA, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Copper prices edged up on Friday, set for a third straight weekly gain, following U.S. President Donald Trump’s upbeat rhetoric on trade talks with China, although concerns about demand for the metal kept gains in check.
The trade talks were “moving right along”, Trump said on Thursday, even as Chinese officials insisted that both sides must simultaneously cancel some existing tariffs on each other’s goods for them to reach a “phase one” trade deal.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged up 0.1% to $5,893.50 a tonne by 0424 GMT. Shanghai Futures Exchange’s most-traded January copper contract rose 0.3% to 47,280 yuan ($6,716.96) a tonne.
Mixed signals on the U.S.-China “phase-one” trade deal to de-escalate a 17-month trade war, which has slowed global economic activity and demand, have kept investors largely cautious this week.
While prospects for an interim deal remain cloudy, a new round of U.S. tariffs are set to kick in on Dec. 15, covering about $156 billion of Chinese imports.
Investors will also eye Chinese data due next week, which includes November trade figures. This may give hints on the overall demand picture in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer.
China’s factory activity showed surprising signs of improvement in November, but analysts are divided between those unconvinced that the worst is over for Chinese manufacturers and those who believe otherwise.
“Judging from a rebound in manufacturing PMI last month, things have stopped getting worse” ING economist Prakash Sakpal said, while referring to the Chinese economy.
“We anticipate more evidence of this in the forthcoming data, supporting our view of GDP growth gaining some traction in this quarter,” he added.
GLENCORE: The UK’s Serious Fraud Office has launched a bribery investigation into Glencore, adding to legal troubles that have hit the shares of one of the world’s biggest miners and commodity traders.
TARIFFS: Negotiations over future Brazilian steel exports to the United States have been halted since Trump tweeted earlier this week that he would slap tariffs back on them, according to the head of Brazil’s steel mills body IABr.
COLUMN: The nickel price bubble is slowly deflating but bears would be advised to tread carefully with a sharp fall in LME inventory threatening a repeat of the time-spread turbulence that rocked the London market in late September.
PRICES: London nickel was up 0.5%, while Shanghai nickel climbed 1.6%. London zinc gained 0.5% and Shanghai zinc advanced 0.2%.
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 = 7.0389 yuan)
Reporting by Enrico dela Cruz; editing by Uttaresh.V