Copper prices edged down on Thursday due to some profit taking and caution by investors after a recent rally, boosted by an interim Sino-U.S. trade deal and hopes of improving demand in top consumer China.
Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) fell 0.1% to $6,170 a tonne by 0248 GMT, having gained in eight out of the last 11 sessions. The contract hit its highest in seven months on Tuesday.
The most traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) dipped 0.2% to 49,020 yuan ($6,964.16) a tonne.
China’s factory activity showed surprising signs of improvement in November, while the United States and China reached an preliminary agreement to resolve their 17-month-long trade war that hurt global economic growth and metals demand.
However, both outlook for further trade negotiations and China’s longer-term economic performance remained uncertain, capping further gains in copper prices.
* COPPER STOCKS: Copper prices were supported by depleting copper stocks in warehouses approved by the LME MCUSTX-TOTAL, which fell to a nine-month low at 160,825 tonnes.
* OTHER PRICES: LME aluminium rose 0.1% to $1,779 a tonne, nickel advanced 0.2% to $13,895 a tonne, zinc rallied 0.5% to $2,313.50 a tonne and lead gained 0.5% to $1,935 a tonne.
* SHANGHAI PRICES: ShFE aluminium rallied 0.6% to 14,140 yuan a tonne, nickel fell 0.8% to 109,170 yuan a tonne, zinc eased 0.1% to 17,890 yuan a tonne while lead climbed 1.1% to 15,040 yuan a tonne.
* ANTOFAGASTA: Chile’s Antofagasta said on Wednesday it had kicked off the environmental permitting process for its $1.7 billion Twin Metals copper, nickel and platinum mining project in the United States.