METALS-Copper dips on dollar, US budget talks anxiety
* Traders eye U.S. jobs report, China industrial output this week * U.S. "fiscal cliff" negotiations worry * European Central Bank keeps rates on hold By Susan Thomas LONDON, Dec 6 (Reuters) - Copper fell on Thursday along with a drop in the euro after the European Central Bank sharply downgraded its outlook for the region's economy, and on investor anxiety over the slow progress in budget negotiations in the United States. The ECB said the euro zone economy is likely to shrink next year as it has in 2012, downgrading its outlook after holding interest rates at a record low of 0.75 percent. The euro extended its decline against the dollar after comments from ECB President Mario Draghi stoked expectations of an interest rate cut. A stronger dollar makes metals priced in the U.S. currency more expensive for holders of other currencies. Analysts said markets would turn its focus to U.S. employment data on Friday. "Base metals markets will be looking towards the non-farm payrolls tomorrow. That is going to be instrumental in showing how the labour market is doing in the United States, and that is important for the economy in general," Danske Bank analyst Christin Tuxen said. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed at $8,000 a tonne, reversing gains from the previous session when it hit its highest since Oct. 19. It closed at $8,075 on Wednesday. Still, prices are up around 6 percent so far this year. "We will continue to watch the Shanghai Composite Index and news regarding the fiscal cliff as leading indicators for copper prices and whether the current rally can be sustained," RBC said in a research note. With about three weeks remaining before steep tax hikes and budget cuts in the United States that comprise the so-called fiscal cliff are set to begin, the political discussions continued to be a key focus for investors. While Republican leaders in the House of Representatives have insisted that raising tax rates on the rich is an impossibility, some Republican lawmakers now see it as inevitable to avoid the tax hikes and spending cuts. But in suggestions of a return to modest job growth, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits last week fell back to the pre-superstorm Sandy range, in late October. CHINA Metals prices had also firmed on signs demand is improving in top consumer China, despite record stockpiles. China's large copper smelters are offering 2013 exports of copper at cheaper premiums as they compete with major suppliers such as top world producer Codelco, boosting supply in Asia, the smelters said on Thursday. Annual growth in China's factory output, investment and retail sales may have gained pace in November thanks to recent pro-growth policies, a Reuters poll showed, reducing the chances for further policy support as inflation picks up. In other metals, tin closed at $21,900 from $21,745 at Wednesday's close, while zinc closed at $2,030 f rom $2,027. Lead, untraded at the close, was bid at $2,214 from $2,239. Nickel , also untraded, was bid at $17,175 from $17,550. Aluminium, untraded, was offered at $2,085 from $2,105. Metal Prices at 1718 GMT Comex copper in cents/lb, LME prices in $/T and SHFE prices in yuan/T Metal Last Change Pct Move End 2011 Ytd Pct move COMEX Cu 363.75 -3.75 -1.02 344.75 5.51 LME Alum 2084.75 -20.25 -0.96 2020.00 3.21 LME Cu 7990.00 -85.00 -1.05 7600.00 5.13 LME Lead 2212.00 -27.00 -1.21 2034.00 8.75 LME Nickel 17188.00 -362.00 -2.06 18650.00 -7.84 LME Tin 21730.00 -15.00 -0.07 19200.00 13.18 LME Zinc 2022.75 -4.25 -0.21 1845.00 9.63 SHFE Alu 15330.00 -70.00 -0.45 15845.00 -3.25 SHFE Cu* 57340.00 -390.00 -0.68 55360.00 3.58 SHFE Zin 15285.00 -65.00 -0.42 14795.00 3.31 ** Benchmark month for COMEX copper * 3rd contract month for SHFE AL, CU and ZN SHFE ZN began trading on 26/3/07
- U.S. nurse defies Maine's Ebola quarantine, takes bike ride |
- Clashes erupt as Israeli police kill Palestinian suspected of shooting Jewish far-rightist
- Apple's Cook: 'I'm proud to be gay'
- SoftBank's humanoid robot lands job as Nescafe salesman
- Ukraine, Russia, EU likely to agree gas supply deal on Thursday: officials