December 12, 2016 / 2:15 AM / 3 years ago

METALS-Copper steadies after gains as growth signs build

* Copper steadies after earlier gains

* China data, U.S., EU outlooks supportive

* Goldman revises up copper outlook (Updates prices)

By James Regan

SYDNEY, Dec 12 (Reuters) - Copper futures steadied on Monday after building on last week’s strong Chinese economic figures, and bullish outlooks by banks and analysts.

Producer prices in China, the world’s top metals consumer, rose at the fastest pace in more than five years in November as prices of coal, steel and other building materials soared.

The stronger-than-expected 3.3 percent surge in prices, along with upbeat factory readings from China, the United States and Europe, add to views that the global economy may be slowly reflating again thanks to a pick-up in industrial activity.

“Copper is the obvious beneficiary of the economic growth signals emerging around the world, and that’s being reflected in the copper futures markets,” said Gavin Wendt, an analyst with MineLife in Sydney.

“The sentiment is as positive as it has been in quite a while,” Wendt said.

ANZ Bank in a note said that a “general positivity” was taking hold in industrial metals markets.

Goldman Sachs on Monday revamped its copper outlook for next year, flipping from predicting a 360,000-tonnes supply surplus to one of a moderate deficit of around 180,000 tonnes.

Goldman expects prices to rise to $6,200 a tonne over the next six months, lifting its 3, 6 and 12-month forecasts to $5,800, $6,200 and $5,600 a tonne, respectively, from $5,000, $4,800 and $4,800.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was trading mostly flat at around $5,820 a tonne by 0700 GMT, extending gains from the previous session.

The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was trading 0.28 percent higher at 47,230 yuan ($6,830) a tonne.

Adding to an upbeat outlook were signs the European Central Bank would continue to maintain monetary support for its member countries and the promise of fiscal stimulus in the United States, according to analysts

LME zinc and nickel pared earlier gains to trade mostly flat at $2,711 and $11,480,respectively.

SHFE zinc slipped by 0.62 percent.

SHFE nickel was 0.08 percent higher, underpinned by a sweeping clamp down on what the Philippine administration terms irresponsible mining in the sector. Eight nickel mines have already been suspended. Another 14 have been put on notice.

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 = 6.9151 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Michael Perry and Amrutha Gayathri)

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