Aluminium hits near one-month high on signs of tighter China supply
* China aluminium smelters losing $145/T -Commerzbank
* China zinc production 'very weak' -Deutsche Bank
* Stocks slump on IMF growth forecasts, China data
(Adds closing prices, detail)
By Maytaal Angel
LONDON, Jan 22 (Reuters) - Aluminium prices hit their
highest in nearly a month on Tuesday as investors brushed off
weaker economic growth in China to focus on signs of falling
Trading volumes were thin ahead of the Lunar New Year
holiday, when China, the world's largest producer of aluminium,
will shut for a week.
"We're heading into softer seasonal flows (but) nearly 3
million tonnes of (Chinese aluminium) smelting capacity has
closed and inventories are drawing on a counter-seasonal basis,"
Deutsche Bank metals strategist Nick Snowdon said.
But the wider outlook for metals is one of price stagnation,
he said, because of a standoff between poor macroeconomic data
and upside policy risk such as further stimulus in China.
China's economy cooled in the fourth quarter, hit by
faltering domestic demand and bruising U.S. tariffs, dragging
annual growth to its lowest level in nearly three decades in
2018 and pressuring Beijing for more stimulus.
* ALUMINIUM: Three-month aluminium on the London Metal
Exchange closed up 1.7 percent at $1,883 a tonne, having
hit its strongest since late December.
* CHINA ALUMINIUM: "The question is how long China can
maintain (its) recent record-high production rate, given Chinese
smelters are currently chalking up average losses equating to
$145 per tonne," Commerzbank said in a note, citing data from
Shanghai Metals Market.
* COPPER: Bellwether copper ended down 0.8 percent
at $5,935 as global equities slumped after the International
Monetary Fund on Monday warned of a darkening growth outlook.
* CHILE COPPER: The union of supervisors at Chilean state
miner Codelco's Gabriela Mistral mine has rejected the company's
final offer for a new collective labour agreement, raising the
spectre of a strike in the coming days.
* U.S.-CHINA: The United States will proceed with the formal
extradition from Canada of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou in a
move certain to ratchet up tensions with China.
* BHP: Global miner BHP Group raised its
2019 copper production forecast to between 1.6 million and 1.7
* NICKEL DEFICIT: The global nickel market deficit narrowed
to 4,900 tonnes last November from the previous month's deficit
of 10,600 tonnes.
* OTHER METALS: Lead ended up 0.5 percent at $2,021
a tonne, tin ended down 1.1 percent at $20,425, nickel
closed down 1.9 percent at $11,580 while zinc
ended down 0.5 percent at $2,576, having hit its highest since
(Additional reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Dale Hudson/David
First Published: 2019-01-22 04:26:12
Updated 2019-01-22 20:12:10
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