* China looking to increase investment in railway projects
* Investors still nervous about growing copper surplus
* Euro zone consumer morale hits near 2-year high
By Maytaal Angel
LONDON, July 23 Copper held steady on Tuesday
near a one-month peak as the dollar fell and on steady buying
from China, although investors remain concerned about forecasts
of a supply glut.
Local media in China reported that the government is looking
to increase investment in railway projects as it aims to ensure
annual economic growth does not sink below 7 percent.
The report helped push world shares towards five-year highs,
and lifted copper near the one-month peak. Euro zone consumer
morale hitting a nearly two-year high in July also helped market
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange,
untraded at the close, was bid at $7,039 a tonne from $7,029 at
the close on Monday. Copper on Monday reached its highest level
since June 18 at $7,053 a tonne.
"There's still some downside to go with copper. You always
get these brief lifts when China announces stimulus, but they
generally are quite short-lived because fundamentals are not in
favour of higher copper prices," said Sucden analyst Kashaan
Data out Monday showed China's refined copper imports rose
11.04 percent in June from a year earlier. Also lifting
sentiment, China's central bank announced on Friday that banks
could lend at any rate they wanted.
China consumes around 40 percent of the world's copper.
Economic growth in the country slowed to 7.5 percent in the
second quarter, from 7.7 percent in the first quarter, and
investors fear it will slip further still this year.
Also, analysts continue to bump up their surplus supply
forecasts for this year and next.
In industry news, Wall Street's multibillion-dollar
commodity trading operations will be put under the political
spotlight on Tuesday as a powerful U.S. Senate committee
questions whether commercial banks should control oil pipelines,
power plants and metals warehouses.
The global lead market was in deficit by 37,000 tonnes in
the first five months of the year, a monthly bulletin from
Lisbon-based International Lead and Zinc Study Group (ILZSG)
The global zinc market was in surplus by 38,000 tonnes, it
Zinc closed at $1,887 a tonne from $1,877, while
lead closed at $2,055.5 per tonne from $2,053.5, tin
at $19,455 a tonne from $19,450 and nickel at
$14,130 a tonne from $14,070.
Aluminium, untraded at the close, was last bid at
$1,845 a tonne from $1,848.