October 12, 2018 / 12:36 PM / in a year

METALS-Aluminium breaks six-session losing streak as markets recover

* Aluminium holds above band of technical support

* Shanghai zinc inventories jump 48.5 pct over two weeks (Updates with closing prices)

By Eric Onstad

LONDON, Oct 12 (Reuters) - Aluminium rebounded on Friday, breaking a six-session losing streak, as speculators and consumers regarded the lower prices as good value against a background of recovering share markets.

The metal touched a two-week low on Thursday amid a broad sell-off sparked by a global rout in equities.

But global shares were having their best day in nearly a month on Friday as European and Asian markets recovered.

“Asia equity markets strengthened last night and then Europe followed as well, so that is being poured into the metals space and we’re seeing some technical, momentum buying,” said Geordie Wilkes, head of research at Sucden Financial in London.

“It looks as though some of these CTA (Commodity Trading Advisor) funds have seen some of these technical levels hold and come into the market.”

Aluminium hit a 3-1/2-month peak of $2,267 on Oct. 4 due to fears of alumina shortages, but when those worries subsided, prices gave up 11 percent.

The market hit a low of $2,017.50 on Thursday, holding above a band of support that has kicked in during the past few months, with consumers also on the buying side, traders said.

London Metal Exchange three-month aluminium closed up 1 percent at $2,041 a tonne. Prices lost 4.5 percent this week, extending 2018’s drop to 12 percent.

* COPPER IMPORTS: Copper prices were supported after data showed China’s unwrought copper imports surged to their highest in 2-1/2 years in September, while copper concentrate imports climbed to an all-time high.

LME copper climbed 1 percent to finish at $6,302 a tonne after closing flat in the previous session. It logged a near 2 percent gain for the week.

* ZINC STOCKS: Zinc inventories in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange surged 48.5 percent over the past two weeks to 43,373 tonnes, data showed on Friday.

LME zinc prices, however, seemed to shrug off those potentially bearish signals, rising 1.5 percent to end at $2,645 a tonne.

* CHINESE EXPORTS: Helping to cap gains in metals prices was data showing an unexpected acceleration in Chinese export growth in September and a record trade surplus with the United States, which could exacerbate an already-heated dispute between Beijing and Washington.

* NICKEL: Nickel dipped 0.2 percent to finish at $12,655 a tonne. “The market has been capped into the $13,000 area this week with Chinese selling evident. A break above there would open up potential for $13,300,” Alastair Munro at broker Marex Spectron said in a note.

* PRICES: Lead was the best performer, climbing 2.6 percent to close at $2,051.50 a tonne, while tin shed 0.8 percent to $19,125.

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Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by Dale Hudson, Elaine Hardcastle and Kirsten Donovanh

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