March 25, 2019 / 4:18 AM / in a month

METALS-Shanghai copper set for biggest drop since Aug on U.S. recession fears

 (Adds details, quotes)
    By Tom Daly and Mai Nguyen
    BEIJING/SINGAPORE, March 25 (Reuters) - Most base metals
fell on Monday, with Shanghai copper heading for its biggest
drop since August, as investors worried about the prospect of a
recession in the United States, the world's biggest economy.
    U.S. Treasury 10-year note yields dropped on Friday below
three-month Treasury bill yields for the first time since 2007
after disappointing U.S. manufacturing data. A yield curve
inversion is seen as a leading recession indicator.
    "That indicates a recession is ahead so the market is really
concerned about this inversion. Copper as a proxy of the economy
is affected. That reflects how Chinese investors understand
about the copper market," said Helen Lau of Argonaut Securities.
           
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * COPPER: The most traded May copper contract on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) fell 1.7 percent to
48,240 yuan ($7,186.06) a tonne at 0345 GMT. That is the lowest
price since Feb. 18. 
    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
edged up 0.1 percent at $6,319 a tonne after declining by 1.7
percent last week, its biggest weekly decline since December. 
    * COPPER STOCKS: Copper stockpiles in ShFE warehouses
CU-STX-SGH dipped slightly to 259,172 tonnes last week. A
rapid build during a seasonal lull in demand in February pushed
copper stockpiles to a nine-month high by mid-March.

    "The Shanghai market has more downside risks than the London
market given that the inventory levels are different," Lau said.
    * COPPER: Peruvian police said they have arrested the leader
and two lawyers of an indigenous community, accusing them of
trying to extort Chinese miner MMG Ltd by blocking a
road it uses to transport copper for the past month.

    * ANTOFAGASTA: Chile's Antofagasta expects to reach
an agreement with miner BHP Group to help ensure water
supply at its Zalidvar copper mine in the country's northern
desert, a company official told a Chilean newspaper on Friday.

    * GLENCORE ZINC: Glencore said that its McArthur
River zinc operations in northern Australia were returning to
normal after a cyclone over the weekend.
    * OTHER METALS: Most other metals were down across the
board, with Shanghai nickel shedding 1.7 percent, while
London nickel lost 0.9 percent and London aluminium
 decreased 0.4 percent.
    * ALUMINIUM: China Hongqiao Group said on Friday
that a doubling of alumina sales helped offset lower aluminium
production and prices, leaving its net profit steady in the
second half of 2018.
    * CHINA: China reverted to being a net importer of alumina
in February for the first month since April 2018, while its
scrap metal imports plunged to just 160,000 tonnes, the lowest
in customs website records going back to June 2014. Scrap copper
imports stood at 60,000 tonnes.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
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    PRICES    
 BASE METALS PRICES                       0123 GMT
 Three month LME copper                     6310.5
 Most active ShFE copper                     48340
 Three month LME aluminium                  1898.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                  13675
 Three month LME zinc                         2808
 Most active ShFE zinc                       21755
 Three month LME lead                         2030
 Most active ShFE lead                       16880
 Three month LME nickel                      12985
 Most active ShFE nickel                    100330
 Three month LME tin                             0
 Most active ShFE tin                       147430
                                                  
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                            
 LME/SHFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc3   -773.98
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc3  -1076.97
                                          
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc3   -643.58
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc3    575.65
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc3  -3027.91
                                          
 
($1 = 6.7130 Chinese yuan renminbi)

    
 (Reporting by Tom Daly in Beijing and Mai Nguyen in Singapore;
Editing by Rashmi Aich)
  
 
 
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