Copper slips on trade talks

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    SINGAPORE – Copper prices fell on Thursday as worries of a possible delay in a highly anticipated trade deal between the United States and China hurt sentiment.

    London Metal Exchange’s (LME) three-month copper fell 0.2 percent to $5,897 a ton, while the most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) declined 0.5 percent percent to 47,150 yuan ($6,726.49) a ton.

    A meeting between US President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping to sign a trade deal could be delayed to December, from November initially, as talks continue over terms and venue, a US official told Reuters on Wednesday.

    “The sentiment is a bit fragile. If there’s any roll back in trade progress, the risk appetite with recede,” said analyst Helen Lau of Argonaut Securities.

    “Demand is the key driver for base metals prices going forward, especially for copper. Even though there are some concerns on supply from Chile, it is still not enough to support copper price,” Lau said.

    The nearly 16-month-long trade conflict has hurt global growth and demand for base metals. Any further delay of a deal is seen as a negative sign for copper prices, which are often used as a gauge of economic health. – Reuters

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