Company News

METALS-Copper rebounds from 3-wk low as China looks to spur growth

 (Adds Philippines' mining review, updates prices)
    By Manolo Serapio Jr
    MANILA, June 21 (Reuters) - London copper rebounded from a
three-week low on Thursday after China said it was eyeing cuts
in banks' reserve requirement ratios (RRR) and other measures to
spur economic growth, which could support copper demand in the
world's top user.
    Nickel cut intraday gains, trading near its lows, after 23
of 27 Philippine mines passed a government review, reducing
uncertainty about potential supply disruptions at the world's
No.2 nickel ore supplier. 
    China's state radio quoted a cabinet meeting as saying on
Wednesday that Beijing will use targeted reduction in RRR and
other monetary policy tools to boost credit support for small
firms and keep economic growth steady.
    "This suggests that a RRR cut may be imminent in the coming
weeks, which could be supportive of market sentiment," Singapore
bank OCBC said in a note.
    Fears of a full-blown trade war with the United States have
magnified concerns about the outlook for China, the world's
second-largest economy, following weaker-than-expected growth
data for May. 
    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was
up 0.4 percent at $6,797 a tonne by 0705 GMT, recovering from
Wednesday's low of $6,772, its weakest since May 30. 
    On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, the most-traded August
copper contract slipped 0.1 percent to 51,780 yuan 
($7,960) a tonne. 
    * NICKEL PRICES: LME nickel was last up 0.2 percent
at $15,010 a tonne after rising as much as 1.5 percent intraday
as it tracked gains in Chinese steel futures. Shanghai
nickel closed 1.7 percent higher at 115,150 yuan, well
off the day's peak of 116,230 yuan. 
    * PHILIPPINES REVIEW: A Philippine government panel cleared
23 of 27 Philippine mines that were assessed for compliance with
state regulations, a source familiar with the talks said. All 27
mines were ordered closed or suspended by former Environment and
Natural Resources Secretary Regina Lopez in last year's
    * TRADE ROW: China's commerce ministry accused the United
States of being "capricious" over bilateral trade issues, and
warned that the interests of U.S. workers and farmers ultimately
will be hurt by Washington's penchant for brandishing "big
    * U.S. PROBE: The U.S. Commerce Department is investigating
recent steel price hikes to determine whether some market
participants are "illegitimately profiteering" from new tariffs,
Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said.
    * COPPER SURPLUS: The global world refined copper market
showed a 55,000 tonnes surplus in March, compared with a 87,000
tonnes surplus in February, the International Copper Study Group
    * VEDANTA LEAK: Vedanta Ltd said a sulphuric acid
leak from a tank at its southern Indian copper smelter was
severe and inaction could lead to serious environmental
 BASE METALS PRICES                               0705 GMT
 Three month LME copper                               6797
 Most active ShFE copper                             51780
 Three month LME aluminium                          2167.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                          14180
 Three month LME zinc                                 2993
 Most active ShFE zinc                               23315
 Three month LME lead                               2406.5
 Most active ShFE lead                               19875
 Three month LME nickel                              15010
 Most active ShFE nickel                            115150
 Three month LME tin                                 20450
 Most active ShFE tin                               145660
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                                    
 LME/SHFE COPPER                 LMESHFCUc3         264.92
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM              LMESHFALc3       -2213.84
 LME/SHFE ZINC                   LMESHFZNc3         174.36
 LME/SHFE LEAD                   LMESHFPBc3         371.01
 LME/SHFE NICKEL                 LMESHFNIc3        -152.82
 ($1 = 6.5050 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Richard Pullin and
Tom Hogue)