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Copper dips as stimulus uncertainty, Sino-U.S. rift weigh

Aug 13 – London copper prices fell on Thursday as investors were anxious over whether an additional U.S. stimulus package would materialise to support the world’s biggest economy and one of the leading metal consumers.

Three-month copper, which is often used as a gauge to global economic health, on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.5% to $6,402.50 a tonne by 0314 GMT.

The most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.8% to 50,470 yuan ($7,275.16) a tonne, tracking overnight gains in London.

U.S. Republican White House and congressional Democrats have been in a headlock for days trying to come up with a much-awaited U.S. coronavirus bill.

Though the U.S. economy appears to be entering a self-sustaining recovery and does not need a big dose of stimulus from another relief bill, National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said on Wednesday.

Prices of the red metal were also pressured by bickering U.S.-China tensions ahead of a crucial weekend meeting between trade officials.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Chile’s state-run miner Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, expects quick progress in ramping up processing capacity at its Chuquicamata underground project.

* China’s copper premiums at bonded warehouses were hovering around a four-month low at $81.50 a tonne, Shanghai Metal Exchange data showed, as import arbitrage was closed.

* Aluminium prices edged up 0.2% to $1,790 a tonne in London and advanced 1.2% to 14,425 yuan a tonne in Shanghai .

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asia’s stock markets followed Wall Street higher, as investors returned to tech stocks, gold and selling dollars after steady virus figures and a surprising jump in U.S. inflation boosted sentiment.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

*0600 Germany CPI Final July

*0930 South Africa Mining Production June

*1200 India CPI Inflation YY July

1230 US Import Prices MM July

1230 US Initial Jobless Claims w/e Aug. 8

1230 US Cont Jobless Claims w/e Aug. 1

*approximate release time

($1 = 6.9373 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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