Copper held steady on Thursday, October 19, after in-line economic readings out of China signaled
some moderation in growth.
China’s economic growth looked set to accelerate for the first time in seven years this year, after hardly skipping a beat in the third quarter, but efforts to cut risks in property and debt are beginning to weigh on parts of the world’s second-largest economy.
“China’s data was in line with expectations, so it’s not surprising that markets haven’t reacted too much,” said Dan Hynes at ANZ in Sydney.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was barely changed at $6,995 a tonne by 0716
GMT. In the previous session, it closed a tad softer just below the $7,000 mark, having touched a three-year high on Monday.
Shanghai Futures Exchange copper ended down half a percent at 54,620 yuan ($8,249) a tonne. China’s industrial output rose 6.6 percent in September from a year ago, faster than expected, while fixed-asset investment expanded 7.5 percent in the first nine months of the year, missing forecasts, data showed on
Property sales in China dropped for the first time in more than 2-1/2 years in September, and housing starts
slowed sharply, reinforcing expectations that robust growth in the world’s second-largest economy is starting to cool.
Other metals were mixed. LME zinc and lead fell by more than 1 percent, reversing gains made on Wednesday.
LME nickel rallied 1 percent. In supportive news for nickel and copper, China’s electric vehicle (EV) production could touch 1 million units next year and 3 million units by 2020, said Xu Heyi,
chairman of carmaker BAIC Group, on Wednesday, likely exceeding a government-set target.
Chile state copper commission Cochilco forecast on Wednesday an average global copper price of $2.95
per pound in 2018, a sharp upward revision from its mid-year estimate of $2.68, due to greater demand in China.