NEW YORK - U.S. copper futures dipped into negative territory Thursday morning as a weaker open on Wall Street and lingering concerns about Chinese demand sapped earlier strength and pulled prices back down from the $2.90 a lb level.
* Benchmark copper for December delivery HGZ9 shed 1.00 cent at $2.8670 a lb by 10:24 a.m. EDT (1424 GMT) on the New York Mercantile Exchange's COMEX division.
* Range from $2.8575 to $2.90.
* September futures HGU9 were off 1.30 cents at $2.8440.
* COMEX estimated futures volume at 12,929 lots by 10 a.m.
* Copper market acting tired, with listless price action linked to prospects of Chinese efforts to resolve some excesses dominant in their economy - Steve Platt, futures analyst with Archer Financial Services in Chicago.
* China's State Council said it would restrict lending, licenses and land supply, among other measures, to restrain excessive construction in the steel, cement, plate glass, coal chemical, silicon, wind power equipment and other sectors. [ID:nPEK157466]
* Copper losses buck better-than-expected U.S. economic data showing the U.S. economy shrank more slowly in the second quarter and a drop in weekly jobless claims. [ID:nN27303398]
* Copper down in sympathy with weaker equities. [.N]
* London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouse stocks climbed 1,150 tonnes to 297,550 tonnes on Thursday. [LME/STX1]
* COMEX copper warehouse stocks up 184 short tons to 52,870 short tons as of Wednesday. [CMWSU]
* London-listed Xstrata (XTA.L) to suspend its copper operations at the Kidd Metallurgical Site in Canada due to a shortage of concentrate. [ID:nLR56481]
* LME copper for three-months delivery MCU3 last traded at $6,272 a tonne, down $19 from Wednesday's kerb close. (Reporting by Chris Kelly)