METALS-Copper down, eyes weekly loss on growth worries

Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:35am EDT

Related Topics

* LME copper set to post biggest weekly loss in 2 mths
    * ShFE copper logs steepest weekly loss in 2 mths
    * LME copper to see-saw in tight range - analysts
    * ShFE zinc drops 3 pct on the week
    * Coming up: U.S. CFTC commitment of traders data; 1930 GMT

 (Updates prices; adds quotes, details)
    By Carrie Ho
    SINGAPORE, Oct 12 (Reuters) - London copper slipped on
Friday, and was set for its biggest weekly loss in two months,
on worries about the global economy while traders waited for
China's trade data over the weekend to gauge the economic health
of the world's top metals consumer.
    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange 
edged down 0.5 percent to $8,196.25 a tonne by 0703 GMT,
reversing small gains in the previous session when prices
rebounded after hitting their lowest in two weeks at $8,105 a
tonne.
    Prices are set to fall for the third week out of the past
four since their rallied in early September, when the U.S.
Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank announced easing
measures. But for now, analysts said prices will likely see-saw
within a tight range in the near term.
    In a negative indication for metals demand over the longer
term, a recent Reuters poll showed that next year offers only a
slight improvement for a global economy hit by recession in
Europe and slowing or moribund growth in Asia and the United
States.  
    "London copper prices haven't moved a lot over the past few
sessions because investors are waiting for trading cues from the
China data while they disagree among themselves over the metal's
outlook," said Standard Chartered Bank analyst Judy Zhu.
    "Some believe in a post-stimulus rally driven by liquidity,
and this helps cap losses in copper prices. Others are worried
about the metal's weak fundamentals, with such worries crimping
upward momentum in prices. The result is, copper prices have
nowhere to go in the short term."
    The most-traded January copper contract on the Shanghai
Futures Exchange closed flat at 58,980 yuan ($9,400) a
tonne and posted a 0.8 percent weekly fall, its biggest since
the week of Aug. 5.
    "Shanghai copper is stifled today by a fall in Chinese
equities and a lack of new reasons to cheer. Trading is also
directionless ahead of upcoming China data with investors
keeping to a range of 58,000-60,000 yuan," said CIFCO Futures
analyst Zhou Jie.
    Although the weekend's China trade data is expected to show
copper imports rising in September from the previous month, this
may mostly be due to the arrival of term shipments booked last
year, Standard Chartered's Zhu said. 
    An improvement in the latest employment figures from the
United States helped lend some cheer to the markets, but the
data also caused fears of that the Fed may end its current
stimulus plan. 
    In other metals, Shanghai zinc was the biggest
loser in the ShFE complex this week, dropping 3 percent from
last week.
    Prices have fallen nearly 5 percent from a near six-month
high of 16,040 yuan in mid-September due to oversupply and
profit-taking in top producer and consumer China, analysts said.
    "Many Chinese zinc smelters have been taking up short
positions on the futures market to lock in high prices during
the recent rally. Most of them had been waiting to destock since
prices dropped below their production costs of 15,000-15,500
yuan earlier this year," said Minmetals Futures analyst Chen
Yuan. 
    Downstream customers and traders have been wary about
stocking up on zinc due to concerns over the outlook of the
galvanised steelmaking material, he added. 
                                                               
  Base metals prices at 0703 GMT
  Metal              Last       Change   Pct Move YTD pct chg
  LME Cu            8196.25    -43.25     -0.52      7.85
  SHFE CU FUT JAN3    58980        00     +0.00      6.02
  LME Alum          2007.25     -8.75     -0.43     -0.63
  SHFE AL FUT JAN3    15520       -10     -0.06     -2.02
  HG COPPER DEC2     373.60     -1.55     -0.41      8.73
  LME Zinc          1955.00    -12.00     -0.61      5.96
  SHFE ZN FUT JAN3    15275       -45     -0.29      3.24
  LME Nickel       17597.00   -128.00     -0.72     -5.95
  LME Lead          2163.25    -20.75     -0.95      6.30
  SHFE PB FUT         15820         0     +0.00      3.47
  LME Tin          21850.00    -50.00     -0.23     13.80
  LME/Shanghai arb    1106
 
   Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
   ^ LME 3-m copper in yuan, including 17 pct VAT, minus SHFE 
 third month
                                                               
 ($1 = 6.2770 Chinese yuan)

 (Editing by Ed Davies and Miral Fahmy)
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