METALS-London copper set for steepest weekly loss in 2 months

(Updates prices, adds quotes)

Aug 20 (Reuters) – London copper prices advanced on Friday but were set for a weekly decline as sentiment was dented by China’s slowing growth, COVID-19 outbreaks and U.S. tapering worries.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 1.3% to $9,005 a tonne by 0559 GMT. For the week so far, it is down 5.9%, on track for its biggest weekly fall since June 18.

The contract hit its lowest in over four months on Wednesday, as weak economic data from top consumer China, rising coronavirus cases globally and expectations U.S. Federal Reserve officials will reduce bond buying hurt metals.

The most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.3% to 67,310 yuan ($10,353.00) a tonne, rebounding from its lowest since April 2 of 66,000 yuan a tonne it hit earlier in the session, tracking overnight losses in London.

“It (copper) is over-sold in short term, so there might be some consolidation ahead, but looking at what is happening in iron ore market, I would be careful to call a bottom for now,” said a Singapore-based copper analyst, referring to a 31% drop in Dalian iron ore since July 16 on China steel curb.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME nickel rose 1% to $18,565 a tonne, tin dropped 1.9% to $32,500 a tonne and aluminium advanced 0.8% to $2,566 a tonne.

* ShFE aluminium increased 0.3% to 20,090 yuan a tonne, lead fell 1.7% to 15,140 yuan a tonne and tin dropped 3.7% to 232,340 yuan a tonne.

* China will not auction off strategic metal inventories this month due to a spike in cases, two Chinese industry consultancies said on Thursday, although the country’s state reserves body said it would continue to release stocks.

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