METALS-Copper rises amid output cut update, China data

Credit: REUTERS/Reuters Staff

Recasts, updates prices, adds quotes

March 28 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose on Thursday, supported by output cut plans agreed by top copper smelters in China and signs of the Chinese economy stablising following improving industrial profits.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) CMCU3 rose 0.4% to $8,883 per metric ton by 0653 GMT, while the most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) SCFcv1 advanced 0.5% to 72,420 yuan ($10,021.73) a ton.

China's top copper smelters have proposed a production cut of 5% to 10% amid a tight supply of raw materials, two sources with knowledge of the matter said.

China's industrial firms posted higher profits in the opening months of the year, whileits central bank set the yuan at a much stronger fixing than markets had expected, which could support the purchasing power of Chinese metals buyers.

Meanwhile, inventory build-up in most base metals in China, the world's biggest metals consumer, has capped gains in metal prices.

"As the current copper price continues to be high, downstream companies are more afraid of high prices (and) transactions in many places are bleak," said Huatai Futures in a note.

Miners Freeport Indonesia and Amman this week called on the Indonesian government to allow exports of copper concentrate to continue beyond May. If allowed, the exports could ease the supply tightness outlook and potentially suppress refined copper prices.

LME aluminium CMAl3 increased 0.2% to $2,304 a ton, nickel CMNI3 jumped 0.8% to $16,760, zinc CMZN3 climbed 0.5% to $2,449,while lead CMPB3eased 0.2% to $1,999.50 and tin CMSN3fell 0.4% to $27,420.

SHFE aluminium SAFcv1 edged up 0.3% at 19,480 yuan a ton, nickel SNIcv1 rose 0.1% to 130,430 yuan, zinc SZNcv1 was up 0.2% at 20,885 yuan, lead SPBcv1 jumped 2% to 16,495 yuan while tin SSNcv1was nearly flat at 223,640 yuan.

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($1 = 7.2263 yuan)

(Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala and Sohini Goswami)

((mai.nguyen@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: mai.nguyen.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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