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METALS-Copper heads for worst weekly loss in a year, nickel and tin plunge

    (Updates prices)
    LONDON, June 24 (Reuters) - Copper prices were on Friday set
for their biggest weekly fall in a year, down around 6.5%, as
investors worried that efforts by central banks to stem
inflation will stifle global economic growth and reduce demand
for metals.
    Other industrial metals also tumbled, with nickel shedding
around 13% this week and tin sliding 22%, its biggest weekly
slump since at least 2005.
    "There is a risk of further losses," said independent
analyst Robin Bhar. "A sharp economic slowdown or recession
seems to be on the cards."
    Benchmark copper         on the London Metal Exchange was
0.5% lower at $8,367 a tonne at 1605 GMT after touching
$8,122.50, down 25% from a peak in March and the lowest level
since February 2021.
    Bhar said copper, used in power and construction, could fall
towards its cost of production, around $7,000-$7,500, but tight
supply and rising demand for use in electrification later in the
decade will lift prices.
    Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said this week that the
U.S. central bank would rein in 40-year-high inflation even if
doing so pushes up unemployment and risks an economic slowdown.

    Global manufacturing growth is slowing, partly due to
coronavirus restrictions in top producer China.

    However, some investors think slowing growth and falling
commodities prices should reduce inflationary pressure and the
need for aggressive interest rate rises.

    Tin prices         were down 10.1% on Friday at $24,260 a
tonne, down more than 50% from its high in March, having earlier
fallen as low as $22,980.
    Noting that the market for the metal used in solder for
electronics is smaller and less liquid than for other metals,
traders said selling was having a bigger effect on prices.
    LME nickel         was down 6.9% at $22,375 a tonne and
trading at its lowest level in five months.
    Aluminium         fell 0.8% to $2,457 and was down around 2%
this week. Zinc         slipped 3.9% to $3,354.50 and was down
around 5% this week. Lead         was 1.2% lower at $1,925 and
heading for a 7% weekly loss.

 (Reporting by Peter Hobson,
Additional reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by
Paul Simao and Emelia Sithole-Matarise)

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