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Shanghai copper hits 2-year low on demand concerns

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, June 6 – Shanghai copper slipped to a two-year low on Thursday, tracking falls in London’s previous session, amid mounting concerns on weak metals demand due to rising trade tensions.

The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell as much as 1.3% to 45,860 yuan ($6,632.44) a tonne, its lowest since June 2017, and was down 1% at close.

The benchmark London copper contract rose 0.1% to $5,813 a tonne at 0709 GMT, struggling to bounce back strongly from a five-month low. The contract has lost around 9% since the beginning of May when the U.S.-China trade talks faltered.

“While we see some dynamics supporting a copper price recovery, short-term bearish sentiment should continue to affect copper prices,” said analyst Helen Lau of Argonaut Securities.

FUNDAMENTALS

* CHINA POLL: China is seen reporting a sharper drop in exports for May as higher U.S. tariffs bite, while imports could contract in a further sign of weakening domestic demand that could spark more stimulus measures, a Reuters polled showed.

* PANAMA COPPER: Canada’s First Quantum Minerals said it had “fully complied” with local rules in operating Cobre Panama, one of the region’s largest copper mines, as Panama’s president-elect said he to review the company’s contract.

* IMF: The International Monetary Fund on Wednesday cut its China growth forecast for 2019 to 6.2% from 6.3% and warned that tariffs could reduce 2020 global gross domestic product by 0.5%, or about $455 billion, but it does not see a recession.

* U.S.-MEXICO: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday “not enough” progress was made to curb migration from Mexico, ahead of a resumed talks between officials from the two sides aimed at averting an imposition of tariffs on Mexican goods.

* RARE EARTHS: Chinese rare earth prices are set to climb beyond multi-year highs, following a flurry of state media reports that Beijing could weaponise its supply-dominance of the prized minerals in its trade war with Washington.

* NEW SOURCES: The U.S. Department of Defence has held talks with Malawi’s Mkango Resources Ltd and other rare earth miners about their supplies, part of a plan to find reserves outside of China, a department official said on Wednesday.

* LEAD SPREAD: The premium for cash lead over the three-month contract <CMPB0-3> on Wednesday jumped to $39 a tonne, its highest since January 2017, indicating tight nearby supplies, as LME inventories fell to their lowest in nearly four months. <MPBSTX-TOTAL>

* PRICES: London lead rose 0.8%, hovering around a one-month high, while zinc gained 1.7% and aluminium eased 0.2%.

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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 = 6.9145 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Gopakumar Warrier, Subhranshu Sahu & Uttaresh.V)

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