July 17, 2015 / 10:04 AM / 5 years ago

METALS-Copper slides as China demand uncertainty dominates

* Analysts doubt China’s economy grew an annual 7 pct in Q2

* Tin backwardation due to position adjustment (Adds closing prices)

By Pratima Desai

LONDON, July 17 (Reuters) - Copper prices slipped on Friday, pressured by uncertainty over demand from top consumer China and a firmer dollar, but a Chinese stock market recovery is expected to curb the metal’s losses.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange ended down more than 1 percent at $5,480 a tonne from $5,560 at Thursday’s close. The metal, used in power and construction, hit a six-year low of $5,240 last week.

“There is potential for more downside in copper. It really does come down to China, which has slowed more than expected, particularly on the industrial side,” John Meyer, mining analyst at SP Angel, said. “It would appear some infrastructure projects have been delayed.”

Chinese equities ended higher for a second week.

The dollar reversed early losses after data showed U.S. consumer prices increased for the fifth month running, strengthening the case for the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year.

A firmer dollar weighs on dollar-priced metals by making them more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.

Data earlier this week showed China’s economy grew by an annual 7 percent in the second quarter, beating a 6.9 percent consensus. But analysts remain sceptical.

“What matters is that the Chinese policymakers are throwing the proverbial kitchen sink at a spluttering economy and a faltering stock market,” Societe Generale strategist Albert Edwards said in a note.

“So far investors have failed to appreciate the futility of their efforts.”

Also weighing on copper are a seasonal demand lull and stocks in LME-approved warehouses, which at around 340,325 tonnes are up about 90 percent from levels seen in January.

Three-month aluminium slipped to $1,707 from $1,716. Zinc to $2,066 from $2,073, lead at $1,844 from $1,840 and nickel at $11,500 from $11,630.

Tin bucked the trend, bolstered by low stocks and some confidence that Indonesian exports would fall from August due to new rules.

It gained more than 4 percent to $15,780, from $15,150 on Thursday.

Traders say the premium for cash metal over the three-month tin contract, at $49 a tonne, is not due to a shortage of material for nearby delivery, but more because of position adjustments along the maturity curve.


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 (Additional reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Dale Hudson and David Evans)

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