Company News

METALS-London copper hits two-week trough as traders cut risk

 (Adds detail, updates prices)
    By Melanie Burton
    MELBOURNE, April 12 (Reuters) - London copper eased to a
two-week low on Wednesday as traders cut risk amid rising
geopolitical tensions with North Korea and ahead of Easter
    Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a peaceful
resolution of rising tensions on the Korean peninsula in a
telephone conversation with U.S. President Donald Trump on
Wednesday, as a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group steams
towards the region.
    The tensions dented risk appetite in Asia, with gold at
five-month highs and yields on top-rated sovereign bonds at
their lowest for the year so far. With Easter holidays
approaching, the news only encouraged investors to cut
positions, analysts said.
    "We are starting to see some price erosion start to set in
over various metals, with the complex's recent high-fliers –
copper and zinc – being the most wobbly," Ed Meir of INTL FC
Stone said in a report. 
    Producers of a number of metals are ramping up output due to
the recent higher prices, while the market is still awaiting an
expected seasonal pick-up in demand, he noted.  
    * LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper was down
1 percent at $5,711.50 a tonne by 0713 GMT, after ending a tad
firmer on Tuesday. Earlier in the session, it slumped to $5,698
a tonne, a two-week low.
    * The LME will be closed on Friday and Monday.
    * SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper
fell by 1.3 percent to 46,230 yuan ($6,704) a tonne. ShFE zinc
 and nickel remained under pressure, down 1.6
percent and 4 percent respectively, tracking weakness in China's
steel sector. 
    * CHINA INFLATION: China's producer price inflation cooled
for the first time in seven months in March as iron ore and coal
prices tumbled, pressured by fears that Chinese steel output is
outweighing demand and threatening a glut of the metal.

    * CHINA PROPERTY: At least 12 major Chinese cities are
requiring newly bought homes to be held for at least two to
three years before they can be sold, the first time cities in
the country are taking such measures and suggesting intensified
efforts to cool the red-hot property market.
    * SOUTHERN COPPER: Union representatives and executives from
miner Southern Copper in Peru failed to reach an
agreement to end an indefinite strike after a long meeting on
Monday night, the union said on Tuesday. 
    * ZINC: Expected shortages of zinc, a metal often favoured
by speculators, may not materialise this year because recent
price gains have spurred miners around the world to increase
 BASE METALS PRICES              0715 GMT               
 Three month LME                                    5713
 Most active ShFE                                  46210
 Three month LME                                  1923.5
 Most active ShFE                                      3
 Three month LME zinc                               2579
 Most active ShFE zinc                             21270
 Three month LME lead                               2237
 Most active ShFE lead                                 1
 Three month LME                                    9765
 Most active ShFE                                     78
 Three month LME tin                               19875
 Most active ShFE tin                                 15
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                                  
 LME/SHFE COPPER        LMESHFCUc3                295.14
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM     LMESHFALc3              -1439.61
 LME/SHFE ZINC          LMESHFZNc3                191.11
 LME/SHFE LEAD          LMESHFPBc3              -2130.47
 LME/SHFE NICKEL        LMESHFNIc3                  2096
($1 = 6.8956 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Tom Hogue and Sherry