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METALS-LME copper eases as inventories jump, demand outlook weak

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METALS-LME copper eases as inventories jump, demand outlook weak

(Recasts, adds comments, updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, July 4 (Reuters) – Copper prices treaded water on Thursday after a big inflow into the London Metal Exchange warehouses, but prices were cushioned by the planned trade talks between the United States and China.

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Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) eased 0.1% to $5,915.50 a tonne by 0421 GMT, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced 0.2% to 46,430 yuan ($6,757.78) a tonne

Top U.S. and Chinese representatives are arranging to talk again next week, U.S. administration officials said on Wednesday, in a move to try to resolve a year-long trade war that has been hurting global growth and metals demand

The discount between LME cash and three-month contracts CMCU0-3 eased to a two-month low at $9.25 a tonne, suggesting that the copper market is getting tighter

However, LME copper stockpiles MCUSTX-TOTAL on Tuesday jumped 14% in one day to a one-year high at 272,500 tonnes, data released on Wednesday showed, pressuring copper prices, while demand outlook for copper has not picked up

China’s air conditioning output in July might fall more, indicating weaker demand for copper, while other major consumers of the red metal including the construction and power sectors are expected to post stable growth, said CRU’s copper analyst He Tianyu

FUNDAMENTALS * PRICES: London aluminium advanced 0.2%, nickel fell 0.7%, zinc eased 0.1% and tin decreased 0.6%. In Shanghai, aluminium traded 0.9% higher while tin rallied 2%

* U.S. ECONOMY: U.S. trade deficit jumped in May and the prolonged Sino-U.S. trade tensions helped drive activity in the services sector to a two-year low in June, further signs that economic growth slowed sharply in the second quarter

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or

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

ARBS ($1 = 6.8706 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Gopakumar Warrier