METALS-Copper prices hover near 16-month lows on demand fears
Industrial metals have tumbled alongside stock markets as central bankers stepped up talk of action to contain decades-high inflation. Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 0.6% at $8,418 a tonne at 1559 GMT, near last week's low of $8,122.50 and down from a record high of $10,845 in March.
"It's too early to say if we're out of the woods," said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen.
"It depends on the level to which we see a deterioration of the view on global growth and whether China can find a way out of its COVID lockdowns."
NICKEL/POTANIN: LME nickel prices briefly shot up
after Britain sanctioned Vladimir Potanin, who owns 36% of top
producer Norilsk Nickel . A Norilsk executive said its lawyers were studying the measures against Potanin but that "we as a company are not under sanctions." Analysts said Russia's nickel exports would likely be little affected. By 1559 GMT, nickel was up 2.6% at $23,750 a tonne.
INTEREST RATES: Weak economic data in Europe and the United States has not prevented central bankers from doubling down on hawkish rhetoric. CHINA FACTORIES: A Reuters poll showed that China's factory activity likely expanded in June for the first time in four months. CHINA PROPERTY: In a positive sign for metals demand, homebuilder China Vanke Co said the troubled Chinese property market has bottomed in the short term. CHINA GROWTH: S&P cut its China GDP growth forecast this year to 3.3%. POSITIONING: Speculative investors are turning bearish on copper. FUNDAMENTALS: Output disruptions, supply dislocations and relatively thin exchange inventories support metal prices, Standard Chartered analysts said in a note. ALUMINIUM: Some Japanese aluminium buyers have agreed to pay a premium of $148 a tonne over the benchmark price for July-September shipments, down 14% from the current quarter, sources said. METALS PRICES: LME aluminium was down 0.9% at $2,468 a tonne, zinc rose 0.3% to $3,343, lead slipped 2.2% to $1,928 and tin was 0.6% lower at $26,650.
(Reporting by Peter Hobson
Additional reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Alexandra Hudson, Elaine Hardcastle)
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