* Euro falls vs dollar on expectations ECB may loosen policy
* Cash tin prices at $9.60 premium against 3-mth prices
By Harpreet Bhal
LONDON, Nov 4 Copper fell for a third
consecutive session on Monday due to a drop in the euro, but
remained firmly within a range that has persisted for months on
uncertainty about the outlook for demand from top consumer
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange closed
at $7,149 a tonne, down from a last bid of $7,240 on Friday.
A drop in the euro against the dollar put pressure on metals
prices as investors and speculators sold the single currency on
mounting expectations that the European Central Bank (ECB) may
loosen policy in the near term.
A weaker euro versus the dollar makes it more expensive for
investors holding euros to buy dollar-priced commodities, thus
typically pushing prices lower.
Copper has traded in a $7,000-$7,420 range since early
August partly due to uncertainty about real demand growth from
"The increase in apparent demand in China in the last couple
of months is partly restocking after the falls in prices during
the summer months," said Nic Brown, head of commodities research
"The fact that the market knows that there has been
restocking is why prices are weak now. If it wasn't for the
increase in Chinese stockpiles, copper prices would be a lot
Bonded stocks in China are climbing, while premiums have
begun to soften. Citi has estimated that bonded copper stocks
have increased to around 450,000 tonnes from lows of 300,000
tonnes a month or two ago, while stocks have also built up in
domestic non-exchange warehouses.
Reflecting softer demand, premiums for Shanghai bonded
copper stocks have slipped by $2.50 to $180-$205, according to
China price provider Shmet. ()
Copper posted a fall of close to 1 percent in the month of
October, its first monthly fall since June.
Expectations for rising supply have also been hurting the
outlook for copper prices.
Analysts polled by Reuters this month expected the copper
market to record a surplus of 182,000 tonnes this year, up from
a previous forecast of 153,000 tonnes, and then balloon to a
surplus of 328,000 tonnes in 2014.
"There's a lot of forces at play pushing down on copper
prices, such as prospects for rising supply," said analyst Tim
Radford at Sydney-based advisory Rivkin.
Traders also were watching for signals on when the U.S.
Federal Reserve may start to rein in its bond purchases, which
have buoyed commodities over the past few years by driving
liquidity towards the asset group.
"The third-quarter U.S. GDP figures and the labour market
report should give us further indications of the state of the
U.S. economy and the next steps to be taken by the Fed when they
are published on Thursday and Friday, respectively," Commerzbank
analysts said in a note.
Sentiment was also hit by worries about a crackdown on
China's property market after the southern city of Shenzhen was
reported to be raising minimum down payments on second home
purchases in an attempt to stem rising prices.
China's soaring property sector has been a major driver of
In other metals, tin traded on Indonesia's only approved
exchange rose to around 3,000 tonnes last month from 795 tonnes
in September, in what signals a partial recovery in shipments by
the world's top exporter of the metal.
Three-month tin closed at $22,710 a tonne down from
Friday's close of $22,775.
Benchmark aluminium closed at $1,822 from $1,843 and
zinc at $1,924 from $1,940. Nickel closed at
$14,370 from $14,570 and lead at $2,159 from $2,187.
Three month LME copper
Most active ShFE copper
Three month LME aluminium
Most active ShFE aluminium
Three month LME zinc
Most active ShFE zinc
Three month LME lead
Most active ShFE lead
Three month LME nickel
Three month LME tin