Copper hits five-week high on China data, lower inventories

LONDON(Reuters) – Copper prices hit their highest in over five weeks on Friday, helped by supply concerns in Chile, recent data pointing to robust import demand from China and falling stocks of the metal.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had climbed 0.6 percent to $5,766 a tonne by 0920 GMT, after touching $5,806, its highest since May 3.

Copper, used in power and construction, was set to end the week 1.8 percent higher.

“Chinese trade data registered another surplus in May, its helped coax copper prices higher,” said Kash Kamal, a commodities analyst at Sucden Financial.

“Still, the tentative macro environment and stronger dollar outlook is likely to cap gains on the upside and we have a limited view on additional upside potential,” he said.

COPPER INVENTORIES: Falling stocks of copper support the price. Copper inventories in LME warehouses MCU-STOCKS fell 9,475 tonnes on Friday to 276,875 tonnes and are down almost 20 percent from a seven-month high May. CHINA DATA: China reported stronger-than-anticipated exports and imports for May on Thursday, despite falling commodity prices, indicating the economy is holding up better than expected despite rising lending rates and a cooling property market. COPPER MINES RESTART: Chilean copper company Codelco has restarted operations at mines in the northern part of the country after a rain storm caused a series of precautionary closures.

UK ELECTION: British voters dealt Prime Minister Theresa May a devastating blow in a snap election, wiping out her parliamentary majority and throwing the country into political turmoil.

OTHER ASSETS: Sterling spiralled lower as British elections left no single party with a clear claim to power, sideswiping investors who had already weathered major risk events in the United States and Europe.

ALUMINIUM: Benchmark aluminium down 1.8 percent on the week, on track to clock its worst week since mid-April.

ALUMINIUM SUPPLY: The metal fell sharply this week as traders brushed aside news that Qatar’s exports of the metal had been blocked and focused instead on weak Chinese demand and rising geopolitical tensions.

SUPPLY: Miner Alcoa said it had restarted half the capacity at its 300,000 tonnes per year Portland smelter in Australia crippled by a blackout half a year ago.

ZINC RISES: LME zinc up 0.9 percent to $2,490 a tonne but still close to seven-month low of $2,427.50 touched on Wednesday.

PRICES: LME nickel was quoted 0.1 percent higher at $8,825 a tonne, lead was mostly flat $2,092.50 while tin slipped 0.4 percent to $19,100.

Courtesy : Reuters