October 8, 2015 / 10:31 AM / 5 years ago

METALS-Copper slips on fund selling as China demand worries mount

* Global nickel market to see small deficit next year - INSG

* Coming up: Minutes of latest Fed meeting due at 1800 GMT (Updates with closing prices)

By Mariana Ionova

LONDON, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Copper prices slid on Thursday, under pressure from fund selling as worries about slowing demand growth in China outweighed falling stocks and output cuts.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange closed at $5,135 a tonne, losing one percent as fund selling picked up following the end of a week-long holiday in China.

Prices were weighed down by renewed concerns about demand growth in China, which accounts for nearly half of global copper consumption.

The impact of the country’s economic slowdown was highlighted by data showing German exports for August marked their sharpest fall since the global financial crisis. China and other emerging economies are major export markets for Germany.

The data, which followed soft figures for German factory orders and industrial production this week, deepened investor concerns about demand and prompted funds to sell.

“Anything that supports the view that demand conditions in China are in a poor place and potentially deteriorating is certainly a negative factor for base metal prices,” said Nicholas Snowdon, metals analyst at Standard Chartered.

Market sentiment took a further hit when Canaccord Genuity cut its target stock price for mining giant Glencore, citing a lower commodity price outlook.

But copper is expected to recover some losses, as shrinking inventories and planned output reductions cut global supply.

Copper stocks in LME-approved warehouses fell to a six-month low of 305,475 tonnes, down nearly 18 percent from late August.

On Wednesday, the metal hit a two-week high on forecasts for a deficit of 130,000 tonnes in 2016.

“The market is definitely tightening, even though the background of demand has been pretty weak in the first three quarters,” said Wiktor Bielski, head of commodities research at VTB Capital.

Zinc closed 1.5 percent down at $1,667 a tonne and lead eased 0.1 percent to $1,673.

Nickel rose 0.1 percent to $10,175 a tonne by the end of trading, after surging to a week high of $10,300 in the previous session.

The global nickel market is expected to swing into a deficit in 2016 for the first time in five years, the International Nickel Study Group (INSG) said on Wednesday, with a shortfall of 23,000 tonnes on higher Chinese nickel demand.

Nickel prices could increase almost 9 percent to $13,200 a tonne as a result, according to GFMS analysts.

Tin closed 0.8 percent down at $15,900 on profit-taking after a strong performance this week. Stocks of the metal have dropped to their lowest since December 2008.

Aluminium slipped one percent to $1,561 a tonne. Ample supplies are expected to continue weighing on the market.

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 (Reporting by Mariana Ionova; Editing by Dale Hudson and David Evans)

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