METALS-Copper steady as low inventories offset growth fears

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*Graphic-2021 Asset Returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl (Update in full, changes dateline to London)

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LONDON, Oct 8 (Businesshala) – Copper prices were stable on Friday as concerns over the impact of higher prices on global growth were offset by lower inventory at exchange warehouses pointing to solid demand.

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Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) fell 0.2% to $9,248 a tonne by 1053 GMT, but the metal, widely seen as a gauge of global economic health, remained on track for weekly gains.

Market attention turns to non-farm payrolls after a week of fretting over the economic impact of rising energy prices and the prospects of a faster-than-expected interest rate hike to counter inflation.

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“The only cloud hanging over the copper is a deteriorating macro picture, but the supply picture is so tight and it is preventing the copper price from turning down,” said Giancladio Torlizzi, partner at consultancy T-Commodity.

Exchange warehouse stocks climbed but remained lower. The weekly copper inventory data for warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 15% for the first time in eight weeks to 50,062 tonnes, but is still hovering around 2009 lows. CU-STX-SGH

In LME-registered warehouses, on-warrant stocks rose 3.7% to 85,875 tonnes, the lowest since May. MCUSTX-TOTAL

Evergrande: Another concern for the copper market is Chinese property developer Evergrande’s potential transition from the financial crisis. China’s property sector is a major consumer of copper.

“Recent developments regarding Chinese property markets and the potential impact of energy shortages on Chinese economic activity are clear reasons to believe that copper demand will be weaker than anticipated in the near future,” said analysts at Jefferies.

However, global exchange copper inventories are down 23% since late August and copper prices were flat over that period, analysts said.

Other metals: LME aluminum fell 1% to $2,918 a tonne, zinc rose 1.3% to $3,090, lead rose 0.8% to $2,191, tin rose 1.1% to $35,700 and nickel fell 2.9% to $18,795. (Reporting by Zandi Shabla Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi Editing by David Goodman)

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