Coppers up after China stocks pare losses

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    Copper has risen, after Chinese equities pared losses following further government intervention and as investors grew nervous about betting down a metal trading near six-year lows.

    A number of brokerages in top copper consumer China have pledged additional funds to buy equities, answering government calls to support the stock market and easing fears that Beijing may be intensifying a trading crackdown.

    "We remain constructive on copper. The China story is over-played versus actual (copper) demand conditions which, while not thrilling, haven't deteriorated as much as the price implies," said Macquarie analyst Vivienne Lloyd.

    "Chinese shorts don't seem convinced (about selling) at the moment, London Metal Exchange stocks are falling, (Chinese) bonded stocks are down (and) copper is showing resilience above $US5,000."

    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange ended up 1.1 per cent at $US5,120 a tonne, after a 1.3 per cent drop the previous session. Copper hit its weakest level in six years at $US4,855 a tonne at the beginning of last week.

    In the United States, data showed private payrolls rose steadily in August, nonfarm productivity increased sharply in the second quarter and new orders for factory goods rose for a second straight month in July.

    Still, investors are betting on more help from major central banks after data on Tuesday showed that China's manufacturing industry contracted and eurozone and US growth eased in August.

    Elsewhere, copper found support from a larger drop in LME prices compared with those in China, which have turned Chinese imports profitable. China consumes nearly half the world's copper.

    "Shorts (in China) are possibly covering a bit. It seems they have been covering for a couple of days now," said Justin Lennon, analyst at Mitsui Bussan Commodities.

    On the LME, data showed funds' net 'long', or buy, position rose last week.

    In news, Ok Tedi Mining Ltd's Papua New Guinea copper mine is likely to stay shut until the first quarter of 2016 as an intensifying El Nino worsens drought conditions.

    Nickel closed up 0.5 per cent to $US9,800. Indonesia has reaffirmed it will keep its export ban on nickel ore. Media reports had suggested the country might relax curbs to prop up its slowing economy.

    Tin closed up 3.8 per cent at $US15,225. Cash tin traded at a $US400 a tonne premium against the three-month price on Wednesday, near its highest since 2009 and indicating tight nearby supply.

    Indonesian tin companies halted exports when new rules for shipments were introduced on August 1. But some, including PT Timah, have since received licences to export, suggesting physical market supply tightness should be short-lived.

    Aluminium ended down 0.2 per cent at $US1,600, zinc closed up 0.4 per cent at $US1,818 while lead ended down 0.8 per cent at $US1,715.

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