September 28, 2015 / 10:04 AM / 5 years ago

METALS-Copper, aluminium sink to one-month lows ahead of China data

* Aluminium faces more losses as technical worsen -Triland

* Zinc hits lowest levels in over five years (Adds closing prices)

By Eric Onstad

LONDON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - Copper and aluminium slid to one month lows on Monday while zinc hit its weakest level in more than five years on worries about upcoming data that may show weak industrial activity in top metals consumer China.

Data on Thursday is likely to show that China’s factory sector shrank for the second month in a row in September, according to a Reuters poll,

“The market is looking for direction and probably the most likely source of that is Chinese data,” said Caroline Bain, senior commodities economist at Capital Economics in London.

“We’ve had quite a bit of stimulus already and it hasn’t yet been reflected in any sort of rebound in activity. We’re going to need some improvement in data before we have any rebound in prices.”

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange hit$4,925 a tonne, the weakest since Aug. 26. It ended down 1.2 percent at $4,965 a tonne. Copper prices hit six-year lows of $4,855 last month.

Shanghai Futures Exchange copper slid by 1.5 percent to 38,310 yuan ($6,016.02) a tonne. The ShFE will close for a week starting Oct. 1 for China’s mid-autumn festival.

The absence of the world’s biggest metals user from Thursday, a rash of third-quarter U.S. earnings reports expected to show companies are struggling plus a strong dollar may further weigh on prices.

“Some of this is undoubtedly on the back of what we’re seeing in mining equities especially in Glencore and Alcoa (stocks),” said Mitsui Bussan analyst Justin Lennon.

Worries about commodity prices swept through global equity markets on Monday following an 8.8 percent drop in Chinese industrial firms’ profits and a 30 percent plunge miner Glencore’s London-traded stocks.

Aluminium hit $1,541.50 - the lowest in a month. It ended down 1 percent at $1,551. Broker Triland said in a note prices look set to test new lows.

“Aluminum... remains stuck in a classic bear market with the whole range of commodity assets near or at multi-year lows.”

Zinc hit $1,601.50, the weakest since June 2010. It ended down 0.2 percent at $1,630.

Lead, the best performer this year among LME base metals, closed down 0.5 percent at $1,657, having hit a month low of $1,636.

“With mine output continuing to be stifled and stocks relatively low, we think that lead prices should be fairly well supported into year-end, allowing for an average of about $1,800/t in Q4,” analyst Vivienne Lloyd at Macquarie said in a note.

Nickel closed down 1.1 percent at $9,870, while tin ended up 3.6 percent at $15,650 having hit a one week high of $15,075. LME tin stocks fell 200 tonnes to 4,900 tonnes at latest count - their lowest level since December 2008. MSNSTX-TOTAL

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

$1 = 6.3680 Chinese yuan renminbi Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne and Maytaal Angel in London, editing by William Hardy and

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