February 9, 2016 / 3:07 AM / 4 years ago

METALS-Copper steady amid risk-off sentiment; trade quiet on China holiday

* Barclays sees support from weaker dollar short term

* Zinc up 1 pct after Goldman says expects it to outperform

* Coming Up: Germany Industrial output Dec 0700 GMT (Adds comment, detail; updates prices)

By Melanie Burton

MELBOURNE, Feb 9 (Reuters) - London copper steadied on Tuesday, underpinned by a weaker dollar as worries over bank solvencies spilled over from global stock markets, and turnover was extremely low as traders waited for the return of top consumer China next week.

Investor sentiment, already soured by a soft patch for global growth, worsened on concerns that Deutsche Bank would not be able to meet its bond payments sent its shares tumbling near 10 percent on Monday.

This fuelled weakness in industrial commodities, as investors fled to safe-havens and away from industries linked to global growth, such as metals.

“There are a lot of people who have come back in 2016 and are looking at the worst performing asset class of 2015 for value, which was mining,” said analyst Dan Morgan at UBS in Sydney.

“But there’s very little conviction that now is the time to get in. This year will be more of a transition year. We might bottom late in the year, or maybe it’s 2017.”

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was little changed at $4,613 a tonne by 0641 GMT, after small gains in the previous session. Copper topped out at its highest in a month at $4,720 on Thursday and trade is expected to stay quiet with China out this week for the Lunar New Year break.

Turnover across the LME’s benchmark contracts was less than 3,000 lots.

The Shanghai Futures Exchange is shut this week, restarting trade Monday Feb. 15.

Some China funds and brokerages closed out short positions and added long ones in recent weeks, including the renowned Shanghai Chaos, which may be due to a tender launched by China’s state stockpiler last month, said Citi.

“If this is the case then we should expect the moves to holding long positions by ... Chaos et al would be relatively short-lived,” it added

Barclays also said it expected the latest rally to prove fleeting, as the weaker dollar was the primary driver pushing up prices of commodities such as copper and oil.

“Demand data look weak and without an improvement in fundamentals, these currency-driven gains seem unlikely to persist, especially since currency moves themselves are being driven by concerns over U.S. economic growth,” it said.

As rock bottom commodities prices and overcapacity weaken balance sheets at beleaguered commodities firms, trade insurers fear further pressure from payment delays and defaults in China and India, particularly in metals.

Across other metals, LME zinc rallied 1 percent to its highest since October after Goldman Sachs said that it expected the galvanising metal “to significantly outperform” other metals due to mine depletion and cutbacks.

In news, Indonesia exported 2,486 tonnes of refined tin in January, a 63 percent drop from the same month of 2015.


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 Melanie Burton; Editing by Joseph Radford and Miral Fahmy

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