Copper Touches Lowest in Nearly Month on China Demand Fears

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LONDON, April 1 Reuters Copper prices slipped to their lowest in almost a month on Thursday on concern over slowing growth in top metals consumer China as it seeks to rein in debt levels and trim stimulus spending.

Threemonth copper on the London Metal Exchange LME was down 0.5 at 8,741 a tonne by 1000 GMT, having touched 8,695 for its lowest since March 5.

There are concerns about China deleveraging; that seems to be uppermost in a lot of peoples minds. How much more tightening is there to come? And the Chinese economy seems to be slowing anyway, said independent consultant Robin Bhar.

Data on Thursday showed Chinas March factory activity among small, private firms expanded at the slowest pace in almost a year, contrasting with another survey on Wednesday that showed stronger activity among large and stateowned manufacturers.

Copper inventories are rising on the LME and it seems that demand for the time being has come off the boil, which is a bit concerning because were going into the seasonally strong part of the year, Bhar said.

The mosttraded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed 0.8 down at 65,090 yuan 9,906.40 a tonne.

Also weighing on copper was news that Chilean state copper giant Codelco clinched a deal with workers at its Radomiro Tomic mine after they accepted a new contract offer, defusing worries about a potential strike.

The Yangshan copper premium hovered around its lowest since Dec. 23 at 58.50 a tonne, indicating…

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