By Mai Nguyen
SINGAPORE, April 24 (Reuters) - Industrial metals in Shanghai decreased on Wednesday following declines in London overnight and amid fears that China may ease its economic stimulus.
The most active copper contract in Shanghai ended down 0.4 percent to 48,960 yuan ($7,282.25) a tonne, while aluminium fell 0.4 percent, nickel closed down 1 percent and zinc dropped 1.8 percent.
“Overnight, the London metals were not doing well. In the Shanghai Futures Exchange, there’s also some selloff pressure, mainly because of the possibility that China may scale back its monetary easing,” said analyst Helen Lau of Argonaut Securities.
Lau said investors will look to China’s April purchasing managers index (PMI), due next week, to see whether China’s economy is indeed rebounding, following a strong figure in March.
“If the April number can be very good on its own, that will definitely improve market sentiment,” Lau said.
In London, metals had won some support from progress in U.S.-China trade talks, but gains were capped by a stronger U.S. dollar, which was steady on Wednesday after rising to a 22-month high overnight.
A stronger dollar makes dollar-denominated metals more expensive for countries using other currencies to import.
* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged up 0.2 percent to $6,421 a tonne by 0723 GMT, aluminium advanced 0.4 percent, nickel increased 0.4 percent while zinc fell 0.2 percent.
* U.S.-CHINA TRADE: U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin will travel to Beijing for trade talks beginning on April 30 while Chinese Vice Premier Liu He will travel to Washington on May 8, the White House said on Tuesday.
* TRADE PROGRESS: United States and China were making progress in the talks, said Larry Kudlow, director of the White House National Economic Council, adding he was “cautiously optimistic” about the prospects for striking a deal.
* COPPER: The global world refined copper market showed an 8,000 tonne deficit in January, compared with an 11,000 tonne surplus in December, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said in its latest monthly bulletin.
* ANTOFAGASTA: Chile-focused copper miner Antofagasta Plc reported a 22.6 percent jump in first-quarter copper production, bolstered by better grades and output mainly at its Centinela mine.
* ALUMINIUM: Global primary aluminium output rose to 5.414 million tonnes in March from a revised 4.916 million tonnes in February, data from the International Aluminium Institute (IAI) showed on Tuesday.
* LME SOURCING: The London Metal Exchange (LME) could ban or delist brands that are not responsibly sourced by 2022 under an initiative launched on Tuesday to help root out metal tainted by child labour or corruption.
* COLBALT: German carmaker BMW will buy cobalt, a key component for electric vehicle (EV) batteries, directly from mines in Australia and Morocco to ensure they are not produced by child labour, an executive said on Tuesday.
* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or
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
ARBS ($1 = 6.7232 Chinese yuan renminbi)
Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Richard Pullin and Rashmi Aich