June 15, 2018 / 10:12 AM / 2 years ago

METALS-Copper clocks biggest weekly loss since April on China growth woes, trade tensions

* LME/ShFE arb: bit.ly/2wZSAEz (Adds closing prices)

By Maytaal Angel

LONDON, June 15 (Reuters) - Copper hit a near two-week low on Friday and clocked its biggest weekly loss since April on concerns about slowing growth in top metals buyer China and the impact of U.S. trade tariffs.

President Donald Trump said on Friday the United States would implement a 25 percent tariff on $50 billion of goods from China and pledged to impose further levies if the Asian nation took retaliatory measures.

Rising Sino-U.S. trade tensions will put additional pressure on China’s economy, which is starting to show signs of cooling under the weight of a multi-year crackdown on riskier lending.

“Now is not the time for the (copper) market to rally,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank.

“The growth story is running into problems (with) recent weak data from the U.S., Europe and China,” he said, adding that a strengthening dollar and weakening emerging market currencies were “raising concerns about growth going forward.”

The dollar index hit a seven-month high earlier, getting a boost as the euro sagged in the face of cautious comments from European Central Bank.

COPPER PRICES: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed down 2.2 percent at $7,020 a tonne, having hit a near two week low of $6,996. The industrial metal has slipped from a 4-1/2 year high hit last week on supply concerns.

CHINESE GROWTH: China reported weaker-than-expected industrial output, investment and retail sales for May, suggesting further weakness ahead if Beijing sustains its crackdown on factory pollution and local government spending.

CHINA METALS OUTPUT: China’s output of 10 non-ferrous metals including copper, aluminium, lead, zinc and nickel rose 4.3 percent in May from a year earlier to 4.55 million tonnes. Aluminium production was up 1.5 percent at 2.79 million tonnes.

CHINA COPPER STOCKS: Copper inventories in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 1.2 percent from last Friday.

CHINA ZINC, LEAD STOCKS: Zinc inventories in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 7.6 percent from last Friday and lead gained 6 percent.

METALS PRICES: Aluminium ended down 2.3 percent at $2,204, having hit its lowest since late April, zinc closed down 3.4 percent at $3,080, lead ended down 2 percent at $2,405, tin closed 0.4 percent lower at $20,800 while nickel ended 0.7 percent lower at $15,185.

Additional reporting by Naveen Thukral Editing by Hugh Lawson and Edmund Blair

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