NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Copper pared most of its losses after China's National Bureau of Statistics released its growth and inflation data.Meanwhile, base metals were expected to consolidate with negative bias in Thursday's trading session. China's economy grew by 10.3% year over year during the second quarter, down from 11.9% during the first quarter. Inflation eased to 2.9% in June compared with 3.1% in May. Analysts reckon that the government measures have paid off signaling a positive course for the economy and base metals. Events lined up for Thursday include U.S. initial jobless claims, which are expected to come in lower at 445,000 from the prior week's 454,000, continuing claims, expected to come in higher are 4.45 million compared with 4.41 million a week earlier, and industrial production, which is expected to drop to -0.1% in June vs. growth of 1.2% in May. Copper Copper for delivery within three months traded at $6,684 at the London Metal Exchange before declining 1.8% to $6,603 per metric ton. Copper inventories maintained by LME fell 0.9% to 428,500 tonnes. Meanwhile, Rio Tinto ( RTP) revealed that refined copper production stood lower by 10% in the second quarter as compared to the same quarter a year ago. Production was primarily dragged down due to ongoing maintenance activities at its facilities. Besides, the company believes that its refined copper production would be 380,000 tonnes for 2010. The metal is expected to trade sideways with support at $6,616 and resistance at $6,712. Copper producers are trading very close to their resistance levels. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX), which closed at $63.66 in the previous trading session, has support at $62.87, while resistance lies at $64.59 followed by $65.51. Meanwhile, Southern Copper ( SCCO) closed at $30.07 with support and resistance levels lying at $29.81 and $30.39, respectively. Aluminum Aluminum for delivery within three months remained flat at $2,005 a ton in the early hours of trading Thursday at the LME from the previous day's close of $2,009. LME inventories shed 7,650 tonnes to close at 4.38 million tonnes. The metal is expected to trade sideways with support at $1,994 and resistance at $2,008.
Alcoa ( AA) closed at $10.91 Wednesday, close to its resistance level of $11.07. The second and third resistance lies at $11.24 and $11.36. The stock has support at $10.78, followed by $10.66 and $10.78. Aluminum Corp. of China ( ACH) closed at $19.74. The stock has support and resistance at $19.55 and $19.99, respectively. Lastly, Alumina ( AWC) closed at $5.37. Alumina has first resistance at $5.43, while the next resistance lies at $5.50. The stock faces support at $5.30. Nickel Nickel for delivery within three months lost 0.5% to $19,300 per ton in the early hours of trading on LME. LME inventories shed 168 tonnes to settle at 119,796 tonnes. Nickel faces support at $19,333 and resistance at $19,433. London-based European Nickel is expected to commence nickel laterite production in Turkey by 2012 further boosting its production to 45,000 tonnes. Zinc Zinc for delivery within three months changed marginally to $1,848 a ton Thursday from in early hours of trading at LME from the previous day's close of $1,850. Zinc inventories maintained by LME fell 100 tonnes. Zinc faces support at $1,822 and resistance at $1,857. According to the International Lead and Zinc Study Group, the global zinc market was in surplus of 180,000 tonnes during the first four months of 2010. For the full year, surplus is expected to be approximately 418,000 tonnes. Lead Lead declined 0.2% to $1,825 per ton in the early hours of trading Thursday on the LME, while stockpiles decreased 550 tonnes to 188,150 tonnes.