MANILA, Aug 14 (Reuters) – London copper fell for a third straight session on Tuesday, pressured by concerns that the collapse of the Turkish lira could infect emerging markets and as data showed the Chinese economy was cooling. China’s fixed-asset investment increased at the slowest pace on record in July and retail sales also softened amid an escalating trade dispute with the United States, data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics showed. China is the world’s biggest consumer of copper and a slowdown in its economy would weigh on global metals demand. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange dropped 0.5 percent to $6,125 a tonne by 0304 GMT, pushing the year-to-date loss to nearly 16 percent. On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, the most-traded copper contract dropped 0.3 percent to 49,520 yuan ($7,195) a tonne. Argonaut Securities analyst Helen Lau said the recent sharp drop in the price of copper “may be overdone,” citing earlier upbeat data including strong exports growth in July. “China still has many ammunitions to counter more headwinds if the future tariff impositions are not deferred or watered down via negotiations,” Lau said in a note, referring to the growing tariff war with the United States.
ZINC: LME zinc fell to as low as $2,469 a tonne, near Monday’s trough of $2,462, which was the weakest since June 2017. Shanghai zinc futures dropped 1.9 percent to 20,835 yuan.
LIRA AND MARKETS: The Turkish lira was trading at 6.9349 per dollar on Tuesday, compared with Monday’s record low of 7.24 after the central bank pledged to provide liquidity. The euro hovered near one-year lows against the dollar, making dollar-denominated assets more costly for holders of other currencies.
CHINA ALUMINIUM: China’s primary aluminium production climbed 12 percent in July from a year earlier, equalling its monthly record, as new smelters took output back toward the level that preceded capacity closures in mid-2017.
Despite the increase, the most-active aluminium contract on the ShFE was up 0.1 percent at 14,700 yuan per tonne while LME aluminium was up 0.2 percent at $2,086 per tonne.
OTHER METALS: China’s output of a group of 10 non-ferrous metals – including copper, aluminium, lead, zinc and nickel – rose 8.5 percent to 4.62 million tonnes in July from a year ago, the highest since December 2017.
ESCONDIDA: Chile’s copper industry braced for the announcement of a potential strike at the world’s biggest copper mine, Escondida, as government-led mediation was expected to close by the end of Monday.
CASERONES: The main union at Chile’s Caserones copper mine said both sides had agreed to extend government mediation of labour talks until Thursday.