July 10, 2015 / 10:40 AM / in 5 years

METALS-Copper closes the week lower on China demand concerns

* Chinese equities rebound and Greek hopes fail to lift copper

* Shfe copper stocks rise 3.7 percent after 13 weeks of falls (Adds closing prices)

By Maytaal Angel

LONDON, July 10 (Reuters) - Copper slipped on Friday and clocked a weekly fall of nearly 3 percent as concerns persisted over top consumer China’s demand for the metal even as stock markets there recovered and in Europe hopes grew for a deal between Greece and its creditors.

Chinese equities bounced sharply for a second day on Friday, regaining a degree of composure after a barrage of government support measures to halt panic-selling earlier this week.

Global equities and the euro were also higher on hopes that last-minute concessions from Athens would clinch a deal with international creditors and save Greece from bankruptcy

But in copper, worries about Chinese usage persist.

“Fundamentals right now are clearly not good; there’s no doubt about that. Chinese demand looks bad this year because the State Reserves Bureau is not buying in the same way as last year,” said Nic Brown, head of commodities research at Natixis.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange ended down 0.8 percent at $5,590 a tonne. Prices dropped to six-year lows of $5,240 on Wednesday.

Weighing on copper, inventories in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 3.7 percent from last Friday to 105,276 tonnes, reversing 13 straight weeks of falls.

On the plus side, premiums for bonded copper in Shanghai climbed $5 to $70, the highest in a month, reflecting bargain hunting after copper’s price plunge. <0#BASEBW-SHMET>

“Based on further Chinese stimulus combined with kickers from supply interruptions, I think the risk is on the upside for copper,” said SP Angel analyst John Meyer.

Analysts and traders in China expect it to import more copper in the coming months because sharp falls in LME copper have opened up a profitable import arbitrage.

Aluminium ended down 0.2 percent at $1,696.50 a tonne.

“China has been exporting large quantities of aluminium recently. If aluminium prices were to remain low for any length of time, however, output would doubtless be cut in China after all — this at least is the consensus among local smelters, traders and refiners,” Commerzbank said in a note.

It added that production cuts could begin as soon as the end of July or early August if the aluminium price in Shanghai does not settle above 12,000 yuan per ton in the next few weeks.

Zinc closed flat at $2,010 a tonne, lead dropped 1.4 percent to $1,790, nickel fell 2 percent to $11,275 and tin ended down 0.3 percent at $14,250.

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 = 6.2085 Chinese yuan) (Additional reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by David Evans and William Hardy)

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