* China property investment falls in July
* Nickel prices could hit $25,000 by mid/late 2015-BNP
* U.S. retail sales unchanged in July, held back by autos
(Updates with closing prices)
By Harpreet Bhal
LONDON, Aug 13 Copper fell to a seven-week low
on Wednesday, dragged down by disappointing data on top consumer
China's property sector, which raised concerns about the outlook
for the metal used in power and construction.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
(LME) fell to a session low of $6,874 a tonne, its weakest level
since June 25. It was untraded at the close but last bid at
$6,885 from $6,965 at the close on Tuesday.
China's real estate investment slowed and property sales
fell sharply in July despite efforts by many local governments
to shore up the troubled sector.
Data also showed disappointing activity for retail sales,
with growth not as strong as expected, offsetting factory output
numbers that were within expectations.
China is the world's top copper consumer, accounting for
around 40 percent of global refined demand.
"We're not very positive on the demand outlook because of
the property sector, and the data has just confirmed what we had
been expecting," said Caroline Bain, a senior commodities
economist at Capital Economics.
The crisis in Ukraine has also sapped investor confidence by
threatening a fragile economic recovery in Europe. Investor
morale in economic powerhouse Germany plunged in August,
sparking jitters over industrial demand.
"Investors play a big role in the copper market, so you're
going to see the copper price respond to some of these
tensions," analyst James Glenn of National Australia Bank in
Separate data showed the amount of money flowing into
China's economy slowed to the lowest level in nearly six years
in July, adding to fears that a sustained recovery may be at
risk in the second half of the year.
U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stalled in July, pointing to
some loss of momentum in the economy early in the third quarter.
The Commerce Department said on Wednesday retail sales,
which had increased 0.2 percent in June, were in part held back
by a second straight month of declines in receipts at auto
dealers. July's reading was the weakest since January.
In other metals, nickel prices could hit $25,000 a tonne by
mid to late 2015, BNP Paribas said. This would represent gains
of a further 34 percent from current LME nickel. Nickel
was untraded at the close but last bid at $18,560 per tonne from
$18,750 at the close on Tuesday.
Refined tin shipments from top exporter Indonesia rose 9
percent to 7,645 tonnes in July from the previous month, a trade
ministry official said.
Tin closed at $22,400 a tonne from $22,475 at the
close on Tuesday, while zinc closed at $2,283 from
$2,330, lead at $2,220 per tonne from $2,262 and
aluminium at $2,026 per tonne from $6,965.
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
(Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Sydney; Editing by
Pravin Char and Jane Baird)