Wednesday, December 7

Copper, aluminum retreat on macro headwinds, improved China output

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BEIJING — Prices of copper and aluminum in London eased on Thursday, shedding gains garnered amid a weaker dollar in the previous session, as macro-economic concerns and improving production in world’s top producer China weighed on markets.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.8% at $7,727 a tonne, as of 0222 GMT.

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LME aluminum slide 0.7% to $2,318.50 a tonne, after climbing as much as 5.4% the prior day.

Prices of industrial metals rose sharply on Wednesday as hopes for a slower pace of US interest rate hikes boosted global stock markets and weakened the dollar, making greenback-priced metals cheaper for buyers with other currencies.

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Still, a gloomy outlook of global economy fanned concerns of tepid demand for metals.

Among other metals, LME zinc was up 0.6% at $2,965.50 a tonne, lead held at $1,889 a tonne and tin was up 1.2% at $18,900 a tonne.

This was against the backdrop of rising production in China, following relaxed power restrictions this year.

The country produced 946,000 tonnes of refined copper in September, up 5.8% from a year ago. Meanwhile, its September output of aluminum rose 9.3% year-on-year to 3.42 million tonnes.

The most-traded December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange added 1% to 63,400 yuan ($8,812.41) a tonne.

SHFE aluminum slid 0.3% to 18,595 yuan a tonne, nickel lost 0.9% to 187,930 yuan a tonne, while zinc gained 0.4% to 24,405 yuan a tonne.

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($1 = 7.1944 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Siyi Liu and Dominique Patton; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)