METALS-Copper registers third weekly fall as industrial metals slip

Fri Apr 21, 2017 5:45pm GMT

* LME/SHFe arb: (Recasts, adds quotes, updates with closing prices)

By Peter Hobson

LONDON, April 21 (Reuters) - Copper suffered a third week of losses amid a broad decline for industrial metals on Friday as worries over political instability and global demand prompted investors to cut bets on higher prices.

Investors have overestimated global growth and the impact of supply disruptions at major copper mines, said Norbert Rucker, head of commodity research at Julius Baer. Copper could slip to $5,200 a tonne in the next three months, he said.

"The technicals don't look very good," said INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir. "The downtrend is pretty sharp for most of the metals ... You're going to see a sideways to lower drift."

* LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed flat at $5,622.50 a tonne, leaving it down 1.2 percent this week. The metal used in the power and construction sectors went as low as $5,530 on Wednesday, its weakest since Jan. 4.

* COPPER SUPPLY: The global refined copper market had a 51,000 tonne surplus in January, up from a 44,000 tonne surplus in January last year, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said. But the strike at the Escondida mine in February-March meant "next month's report should reflect a tighter market", analysts at ING said.

* FREEPORT EXPORTS: Freeport McMoran Inc's Indonesia unit has been granted a permit to export 1.11 million wet metric tonnes of copper concentrate until February of next year, a trade ministry official said.

* FREEPORT STRIKE: Freeport also warned that it would punish workers for absenteeism at its Indonesian operation, a day after one of its main unions announced plans for a one-month strike over employment conditions.   Continued...

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