December 25, 2018 / 2:10 AM / 2 months ago

METALS-Shanghai copper falls to 15-week low over economic growth concerns, demand to weaken

(update closing prices, add China’s environmental policies)

BEIJING, Dec 25 (Reuters) - Copper futures in China fell for a second session on Tuesday and touched their lowest level in 15 weeks, reflecting faltering sentiment among investors amid mounting concerns over an economic slowdown.

Prices tumbled in most Chinese commodities following a pre-Christmas holiday sell-off in overseas markets, with investors rattled by a likelihood of a prolonged U.S. government shutdown and the U.S. Treasury secretary’s convening of a crisis group meeting to calm markets.

Trade is generally lukewarm during the Christmas holiday period...China is unlikely to add more refined copper output before producers reach an agreement on new treatment and refining charges (TC/RCs), said analysts from CITIC Futures in a note in Mandarin.

A meeting to discuss the TC/RCs for the first quarter next year is scheduled to be held on Thursday.

“With Chinese new year approaching, total demand in the country will gradually weaken, which would rein in copper prices.”

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-traded February copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dropped as much as 1.6 percent to a level last seen on Sept. 12. It settled down 0.4 percent at 48,010 yuan ($6,973.43) a tonne when the market closed at 0700 GMT.

* LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.6 percent to $5,955.5 a tonne on Monday, having hit its lowest since mid-September at $5,941. LME is closed on Tuesday for the Christmas holiday.

* CHINA ECONOMY: Business confidence among entrepreneurs in China worsened in the fourth quarter compared with the previous one, and was at the lowest since the second quarter of 2017, according to a survey by the People’s Bank of China published on Monday.

* CHINA TARIFFS: China plans to remove import and export tariffs in 2019 on a range of goods, including import taxes on alternative meals used in animal feed, to secure supplies of raw materials amid trade tensions with the United States and boosting outbound cargoes.

* CHINA ENVIRONMENT: China will adopt more efficient and targeted measures during its campaign against pollution next year, but will not relax the targets or ease the crackdown on violators, the environment ministry said in a statement on Monday night.

* RIO TINTO: Anglo-Australian miner Rio Tinto, is preparing to take its Iron Ore Company of Canada business public in the first half of 2019 by dual-listing it in New York and Toronto, people familiar with the situation told Reuters.

* GEM: Chinese battery firm GEM Co Ltd will supply 170,000 tonnes of raw materials to South Korean battery maker ECOPRO Co Ltd from 2019 to 2023, its latest effort to win a bigger share of the booming power cell market.

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

MARKETS NEWS

* Financial markets in the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Brazil, Hong Kong, South Korea, India and Australia are closed on Monday for Christmas.

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

ARBS ($1 = 6.8847 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Muyu Xu and Ryan Woo; Editing by Michael Perry and Christian Schmollinger)

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