(Reuters) - London copper prices were heading for the worst weekly loss since March 2020 on Friday, weighed by a strong dollar and weak demand outlook as lacklustre economic growth and aggressive rate hikes loom.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 2.8% at $6,968 a tonne at 0710 GMT, the first time the contract fell below $7,000 a tonne since November 2020. On a weekly basis, it dropped 10.6%.
The most-traded August copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed at its lowest since November 2020 at 53,480 yuan ($7,904.58) a tonne.
Economic growth in top metals consumer China slowed sharply in the second quarter, expanding 0.4% year-on-year and missing expectations, as widespread lockdowns to curb record COVID cases hit industrial activity and consumer spending.
Meanwhile, inflation in the United States at the highest since 1981 is seen triggering a jump in rate hike this month, which is expected to slow growth and push up the dollar.
"Things are looking uncertain in China which was the only stabilising factor for industrial commodities amid growing recession risk in the United States and Europe," said ANZ analyst Soni Kumari.
The dollar hovered near its two-decade high, making greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies.
"We see little relief from stronger dollar at least until the end of this month," Kumari added.
ShFE nickel tumbled as much as 12.6% to its lowest since December 2021 at 136,010 yuan a tonne and LME nickel hit a nine-month low of $18,230 a tonne. ShFE tin ended 5.8% lower at 181,190 yuan a tonne.
* China's primary aluminium production rose 3.2% to 3.39 million tonnes in June from a year earlier as high global prices spurred an increase in output.
* Chinese regulators on Thursday pledged to help local governments deliver property projects on time after homebuyers threatened to stop mortgage payments on unfinished apartments, in the first sign Beijing was stepping in to end the market chaos.
"This (payment halt) could potentially disappoint expectations of recovery in property market. Such developments are really worrisome for metals demand outlook," Kumari said.