* China's service industries slow in December
* Dollar falls as U.S. services data suggests slowing growth
* Inestors await U.S. jobs data for clues on Fed tapering
By Maytaal Angel
LONDON, Jan 6 Copper steadied on Monday as the
dollar fell but the metal remained near a two-week low on
concerns about economic recovery in China, which accounts for
about 40 percent of global copper demand.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell
to its lowest since Dec. 24 at $7,278.75 a tonne on Monday,
before closing at $7,325 from $7,315 on Friday.
Data showed growth in China's service industries had slowed
in December, mirroring a slowdown in manufacturing and
confirming views that the world's second-largest economy lost
steam at the end of last year.
In addition, China's cabinet has issued new rules to
strengthen regulation of shadow-bank lending, which has helped
fuel an explosion in debt levels since 2008, in the latest
effort to address rising financial risks.
Copper fell 7.2 percent in 2013, though it gained more than
4 percent in December as a decline in readily available refined
metal in exchange-authorised warehouses helped push up the
premium for cash copper, which reached $16.50 a tonne over the
benchmark price on Monday.
"It has to be seen if the reductions in LME stocks are real
or (reflect) hidden stock movements," T-Commodity analyst
Gianclaudio Torlizzi said.
He added: "In the end, macro factors are weighing on metals.
We think generally it could be a month in which new fears about
the Chinese banking sector will reappear, pushing metal prices
Underpinning copper, however, was a fall in the dollar
versus the euro as weaker-than-expected data gauging the U.S.
services sector reflected slowing growth at the end of last
A weak dollar makes dollar-priced metals cheaper for
Wednesday's December Federal Reserve meeting minutes and
then Friday's non-farm payrolls data will give further clues on
how quickly the Fed could unwind the economic stimulus that has
been a major driver for global risk assets such as metals in the
past few years.
In other metals traded, tin closed at $21,725 a
tonne - having earlier hit its lowest since early September at
$21,301 a tonne. It closed at $21,500 on Friday.
Nickel closed at $13,560 a tonne from a last bid of
$13,845 on Friday.
Aluminium closed at $1,782.50 a tonne from a last
bid of $1,772 on Friday, zinc at $2,034 a tonne from a
previous session close of $2,026 and lead at $2,165 a
tonne from $2,176.
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