METALS-Copper drops on growth worries, ample supply
* Copper nears 8-month lows * Operations suspended at Rio Tinto mine in Utah after landslide * LME copper stocks at highest in more than a decade By Harpreet Bhal and Silvia Antonioli LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) - Copper fell 3 percent on Friday as concern about slowing economic growth raised uncertainty over the base metals demand outlook while abundant supply and inventories of the metal put further pressure on prices. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed at $7,406.50, down from Thursday's close of $7,610 a tonne. Earlier the metal hit a session low of $7,375, not far from eight-month lows of $7,331.25 hit on April 4. "Data out of China has been as expected and in some cases slightly better. But it doesn't show an economy that is really taking off and the government doesn't want the economy to move ahead too rapidly," said Robin Bhar, analyst at Societe Generale. "People are doubting the commodity supercycle as they are seeing markets much better supplied than they were in the past. The facts tell us it's a pretty soft picture out there." Underpinning perceptions of abundant supply, copper stocks in LME-registered warehouses rose by 3,475 tonnes to 593,650 tonnes, their highest in over a decade. Reuters polls suggested this year now looks unlikely to deliver much improvement in the world economy's growth rate, with a weaker outlook for Europe and the United States tempering the cautious optimism evident in January. "Copper has been turning bearish with weak macro numbers from the U.S. and generally a very slow pick up in China," VTB Capital analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov said. "It is a broader commodity markrt sell off, due to macro tidings turning negative, but for 3-month copper it should stop near $7,300." News that mining operations were suspended at Rio Tinto's Bingham Canyon in Utah, after a landslide on Wednesday, failed to lift copper prices. A company spokesman could not say how long the smelting and refining process could continue to produce copper. "Bingham Canyon's pit wall failure may temper the ongoing lift in global inventories; market will still probably loosen through 2014, weighing on copper's price," UBS said in a research note. STERLITE SHUT India's largest copper smelter, run by Sterlite Industries Ltd, will not start commercial production until at least April 29, when a court will again consider a request to reopen the plant, shut over complaints of emissions. The closure has already pushed up premiums to get metal in Asia while shipments of concentrate that are not needed due to the shutdown have been re-routed to China, helping the country boost its second-quarter output and curbing its demand for refined metal. In other metals, aluminium closed at $1,852 a tonne from $1,898 on Thursday while zinc finished at $1,874 from $1,914. Tin closed at $22,005 from $22,860, nickel at $15,850 from $15,880 and lead at $2,049 from $2,085. Metal Prices at 1656 GMT Comex copper in cents/lb, LME prices in $/T and SHFE prices in yuan/T Metal Last Change Pct Move End 2012 Ytd Pct move COMEX Cu 335.05 -8.30 -2.42 365.25 -8.27 LME Alum 1857.25 -40.75 -2.15 2073.00 -10.41 LME Cu 7423.00 -187.00 -2.46 7931.00 -6.41 LME Lead 2041.00 -44.00 -2.11 2330.00 -12.40 LME Nickel 15858.00 -412.00 -2.53 17060.00 -7.05 LME Tin 21950.00 -910.00 -3.98 23400.00 -6.20 LME Zinc 1868.75 -45.25 -2.36 2080.00 -10.16 SHFE Alu 14715.00 -15.00 -0.10 15435.00 -4.66 SHFE Cu* 55220.00 80.00 +0.15 57690.00 -4.28 SHFE Zin 14745.00 -40.00 -0.27 15625.00 -5.63 ** Benchmark month for COMEX copper * 3rd contract month for SHFE AL, CU and ZN SHFE ZN began trading on 26/3/07
- White House reverses, says Obama met uncle and lived with him during law school
- South Africans, some fearful, wake to life without Mandela |
- U.S. television, Twitter, alive with new version of 'Sound of Music'
- RPT-UPDATE 1-Ford leans on global Mustang to burnish overseas image
- Ford leans on global Mustang to burnish overseas image