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Copper falls as Sino-U.S. tensions offset China import…

BEIJING, Aug 7 – London copper slipped on Friday as Sino-U.S. tensions deepened and miner Codelco said it would resume operations stalled by the pandemic, even as top consumer China’s July imports hit a record high.

The drop in copper prices came after President Donald Trump unveiled sweeping bans on U.S. transactions with China’s ByteDance and Tencent.

“Today has started on a negative note with the metals eyeing Asian equities … reacting to President Trump’s bans on Chinese tech firms” which have further stoked tensions, Malcolm Freeman, director of Kingdom Futures, said in a note.

“We see risks skewed to the downside for copper prices,” ANZ wrote, citing a surge in coronavirus cases and the reinstatement of restrictions in several U.S. states.

With global industrial production growth in “double-digit negative territory …. we see demand falling 4% in 2020” and a surplus in the copper market remaining in place for the next 12-18 months, the bank added.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER: Three-month LME copper was down 0.6% at $6,443 a tonne by 0712 GMT. The most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed down 0.5% at 51,300 yuan ($7,367.41) a tonne.

* CHINA: China’s copper imports hit a record 762,211 tonnes in July. Copper concentrate imports were 1.8 million tonnes, while aluminium exports were 373,402 tonnes.

* COPPER: “Due to a strong uplift in orders from power infrastructure projects in China, wire rod and cable producers have purchased additional cathode,” Wood Mackenzie analyst Zhou Yanting said by email, adding that an estimated 50,000-100,000 tonnes of non-standard cathodes arrived from Africa in July.

* ALUMINIUM: Trump moved to reimpose 10% tariffs on some Canadian aluminium products.

* OTHER METALS: Shanghai lead was the top performer, hitting its highest since Sept. 16 and closing up 1.3% for a weekly gain of 5.4%, its best in more than two years. ($1 = 6.9631 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Aditya Soni and Ramakrishnan M.)

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