METALS-Copper mixed after data stirs recovery worries

* US data offers more economic recovery uncertainty

* China’s economic growth slows to 10.3 percent in Q2

* Coming up: U.S. Consumer Prices Index due Friday

(Changes headline, updates with New York closing copper price, adds New
York dateline/byline and analyst comments)

By Chris Kelly and Michael Taylor

NEW YORK/LONDON, July 15 (BestGrowthStock) – Copper was mixed in late trade on
Thursday, as investors dissected a batch of data from China and the United
States, that offered conflicting views about near-term economic and demand
prospects.

Copper for September delivery (HGU0: ) on the COMEX metals division of the
New York Mercantile Exchange rose 0.35 cent to end at $3.0120 per lb, after
dealing between $2.9870 and $3.0450.

On the London Metal Exchange, benchmark copper for three-months delivery
(CMCU3: ) shed $45 to end at $6,680 a tonne.

The day began with annual economic growth data in top metals consumer
China, which eased to 10.3 percent in the second quarter from 11.9 percent in
the first quarter.

While a touch weaker than market expectations, it failed to raise
additional fears of a steeper slowdown in the metals giant.

“China is still doing well … talk of china slowing down has pretty much
been discounted,” said Bill O’Neill, partner of LOGIC Advisors in Upper Saddle
River, New Jersey.

The data also showed inflation at the producer and consumer level eased in
June from May, reducing the need for further policy tightening.
[ID:nTOE66D06L]

“I think a lot of people are beginning to look forward to the fact that
some of the measures that China took to slow things down will be eliminated.
Looking at the fourth quarter and into the first quarter of next year, I think
people are looking positively to China,” he said.

One day after minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s June meeting revealed a
more cautious economic outlook, macro data underscored that softer view.

The rate of growth in the factory sector slowed sharply in July, and U.S.
wholesale prices fell for a third straight month, adding to evidence that the
U.S. economic recovery is losing steam.

“The PPI falling in June — that’s the third straight month — that was
more than was expected. This all fits in very much with the fact that we’re not
getting traction in the U.S. and that means a slower demand trajectory,” said
Nick Moore, global head of commodity strategy at RBS Global Banking & Markets.

The softer macro data dragged the U.S. dollar to a two-month low against
the euro, limiting the red metal’s downside, as a weaker dollar tends to make
dollar-priced metals cheaper for non-European investors. [USD/]

PRODUCTION

Also from China, data showed production of refined copper rose 6 percent on
the month in June to a record, as smelters boosted production to meet
first-half output targets. [ID:nTOE66D07D]

“The still very high production rates of metals, which have not yet
declined significantly compared to the previous month, point towards declining
imports during the course of the year. This might strain metal prices,” said
Commerzbank in a note.

Among other industrial metals, aluminum (CMAL3: ) ended up $13 at $2,018 a
tonne.

Primary aluminum production in China dropped 0.7 percent in June from May’s
record 1.416 million tonnes, following production cuts by some smelters due to
low prices and tighter government controls over outdated facilities.

Aluminum remains in oversupply, with latest data showing LME stocks total a
hefty 4.38 million tonnes, although back from recent record levels at around
4.6 million tonnes.

Zinc (CMZN3: ) slipped $40 to end at $1,810 a tonne, while tin (CMSN3: ) and
nickel (CMNI3: ) were unchanged at $17,950 and $19,400, respectively.

Lead (CMPB3: ) was untraded at the close but last bid at $1,798 from $1,826

The global lead market was in surplus by 34,000 tonnes in the first five
months of the year, while the global zinc market was in surplus by 209,000
tonnes, data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group’s (ILZSG) latest
monthly bulletin showed. [ID:nLDE66E0VE] [ID:nLDE66E0TZ]
Metal Prices at 1850 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move End 2009 Ytd Pct

move
COMEX Cu 301.65 0.80 +0.27 334.65 -9.86
LME Alum 2005.00 0.00 +0.00 2230.00 -10.09
LME Cu 6640.00 -85.00 -1.26 7375.00 -9.97
LME Lead 1790.00 -36.00 -1.97 2432.00 -26.40
LME Nickel 19325.00 -75.00 -0.39 18525.00 4.32
LME Tin 17925.00 -75.00 -0.42 16950.00 5.75
LME Zinc 1820.00 -30.00 -1.62 2560.00 -28.91
SHFE Alu 14895.00 -25.00 -0.17 17160.00 -13.20
SHFE Cu* 52870.00 -40.00 -0.08 59900.00 -11.74
SHFE Zin 15125.00 20.00 +0.13 21195.00 -28.64
** Benchmark month for COMEX copper * 3rd contract month for SHFE AL, CU and ZN
SHFE ZN began trading on 26/3/07
(Additional reporting by Maytaal Angel in London; editing by Alden Bentley)

METALS-Copper mixed after data stirs recovery worries