* Greek strike, U.S. fiscal cliff keep lid on prices
* China spot copper demand still sluggish
* Bonded warehouses copper stocks at 750,000 T- Macquarie
By Silvia Antonioli
LONDON, Nov 6 Copper rose slightly on Tuesday, recovering from a
two-month low hit the previous session, as the lower price triggered new buying,
but gains were capped by uncertainty ahead of the presidential election in the
Benchmark London Metal Exchange copper closed at $7,700 a tonne from
a close of $7,650 on Monday, when the metal hit a two-month low at $7,596.
World stock markets rose on Tuesday as American voters went to the polls,
with the tightly fought U.S. presidential election keeping trade subdued, while
the euro held steady despite uncertainty over Greece's next financial aid
A leadership transition in China and strikes in Greece over a new austerity
package also kept sentiment in check.
Lending a little support to metals prices, data on Monday showed that the
HSBC Purchasing Managers Index for China's services sector slipped in October
from September's four-month high but remained above the 50-point level that
indicates accelerating growth.
"We had the China PMI back slightly above 50 level and that, in combination
with an oversold market and some position squaring ahead of the U.S. election,
caused a bit of a push higher. How long it will be sustained for it's difficult
to say," Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said.
Copper prices rallied nearly 8 percent in September, fuelled by a third
round of quantitative easing (QE) by the U.S. Federal Reserve, the promise of
bond buying by the European Central Bank (ECB) and stimulus measures in Japan
The metal then lost more than 5 percent in October as expectations that real
demand would improve failed to materialise. It is now trading up just 1 percent
in the year to date.
LOW DEMAND, HIGH STOCKS
Spot copper prices in China traded at a discount to the Shanghai Futures
Exchange front-month futures prices, indicating slow restocking by the
world's top consumer.
Most of China's copper inventories are in bonded warehouses, estimated to
hold around 750,000 tonnes as compared with over 300,000 tonnes at the end of
2011, but Beijing is expected to stimulate China's economy through
The country is expected to soon resume stockpiling of some base metals,
including copper and aluminium, buying them from domestic smelters hurt by weak
Three-month aluminium, untraded at the close, was bid at $1,920
tonne from $1,906 at the close on Monday.
Three-month nickel closed at $16,075 from $15,900, zinc at
$1,899 from $1,869, tin at $20,625 from $20,100 and lead at
$2,165 from $2,127.
Metal Prices at 1717 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
COMEX Cu 350.65 3.65 +1.05 344.75 1.71
LME Alum 1922.00 16.00 +0.84 2020.00 -4.85
LME Cu 7722.25 72.25 +0.94 7600.00 1.61
LME Lead 2174.25 47.25 +2.22 2034.00 6.90
LME Nickel 16094.00 194.00 +1.22 18650.00 -13.71
LME Tin 20652.00 552.00 +2.75 19200.00 7.56
LME Zinc 1900.75 31.75 +1.70 1845.00 3.02
SHFE Alu 15300.00 10.00 +0.07 15845.00 -3.44
SHFE Cu* 56050.00 230.00 +0.41 55360.00 1.25
SHFE Zin 14830.00 100.00 +0.68 14795.00 0.24
** Benchmark month for COMEX copper
* 3rd contract month for SHFE AL, CU and ZN
SHFE ZN began trading on 26/3/07