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LME ASIAN WRAP: Copper prices rangebound on China demand worry


London Metal Exchange copper prices saw little movement in early Asian trading on Thursday April 26, as China demand concerns continued to dominate market sentiment.

Helped by the unchanged low benchmark interest rate policy from the Federal Reserve, three-month copper opened at a high price of $8,207 per tonne, before sliding to $8,175 per tonne by 02:27 London time.

The red metal moved in a tight range of $8,164-$8,216 per tonne.

"The London market is stronger than the Shanghai market at the moment, and China domestic demand worries are putting pressure on copper prices," Fang Junfeng, base metals analyst with CIFCO, said.

Investors' worries on China demand increased in line with the slowdown of China economic growth, and market confidence was hit after the world's largest copper consumer entered the buying season, he added.

"Downstream enterprises are not willing to buy now, even in the buy season,” Fang said, adding that most already had high inventories after upping their purchases in the first quarter on an optimistic outlook.

A second Shanghai analyst agreed, noting that demand from major copper end users was weak at the moment.

"Sales growth of white electrical appliances has fallen sharply, and the real estate market downturn has exacerbated consumers’ wait-and-see mood," he added.

On the Changjiang Nonferrous Market, copper inched up by 150 yuan ($24) to 57,750—57,800 yuan per tonne for the session.

Shanghai Futures Exchange July copper opened at 57,980 yuan per tonne, slipping just 10 yuan to 57,970 yuan per tonne by 11:08 Beijing time.

Other base metals were mixed in the early Asian session.

Three-month LME aluminium was flat with its open at $2,075 per tonne, lead down $2 from its open at $2,083 per tonne, while zinc fell $1 to $2,006 per tonne.

Nickel rose by $25 from its open at $17,675 per tonne, while tin was untraded in the morning.

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