(Updates prices, adds details)
By Mai Nguyen
SINGAPORE, May 15 (Reuters) - Copper and most other base metals rose on Wednesday, as investors took a breather on the U.S.-China trade tension after U.S. President Donald Trump’s positive comments, and a rebound in Germany’s economic growth in the first quarter.
Trump on Tuesday softened his tone in a series of remarks expressing optimism about reaching a trade deal with Beijing, which could help boost demand for metals.
Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday preached his country’s openness to the world in his first public address since the trade tension spiked last week.
Sentiment was also helped by a rebound of economic growth in Germany, Europe’s largest economy and one of the major copper users. Its economy expanded 0.4% quarter-on-quarter in January-March after two quarters without expansion, buoyed by higher household spending and a booming construction industry.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.5% to $6,058 a tonne by 0711 GMT, while nickel advanced 0.6%, zinc climbed 0.9% and lead edged up 0.6%.
However, outlook for base metals remained uncertain.
“We suspect copper and the rest of the base metals sector will struggle while the trade conflict remains unresolved, even though fundamentals remain positive,” ANZ said in a note.
China on Wednesday reported surprisingly weaker growth in industrial output, fixed-asset investment and retail sales for April, reinforcing expectations of further stimulus measure, while property investment remained the rare bright spot.
Benchmark aluminium fell 0.6% after China reported output of aluminium for April rose 3.9% from the same time last year to 2.92 million tonnes, as smelters in the world’s top producer of the metal ramped up production on higher prices.
The 2.92-million-tonne output translates to an average 97,300 tonnes of aluminium produced a day in April, the third highest daily rate for any month on record.
“Over production will be the trend going forward and will have the negative impact on aluminium prices. The economy is slowing down, demand is not strong,” said analyst Helen Lau of Argonaut Securities.
* COPPER: Copper headline stocks in London Metal Exchange-approved warehouses on Monday fell 2.5% from the previous session to 198,650 tonnes, latest data showed, while the global copper market is seen in deficit throughout 2019 and 2020. MCUSTX-TOTAL
* SHANGHAI PRICES: All base metals on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose, following a strong rally session overnight in London. Shanghai copper rose 0.5% percent to 47,730 yuan ($6,954.08) a tonne, and aluminium advanced 0.9%.
* EV OUTLOOK: Global miner BHP will hold on to its Nickel West operations, while Rio Tinto, is working on copper and lithium projects as the mining industry bets on demand for electric vehicle batteries.
* U.S. EV: U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday moved closer to developing a national electric vehicle supply chain policy, with senators voicing bipartisan support for legislation designed to parry China’s dominance in metals and battery production.
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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 = 6.8636 Chinese yuan renminbi)
Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Rashmi Aich