SYDNEY, May 17 (Reuters) - London copper traded flat on Wednesday, stymied by expectations of slowing growth in the economy of top metals consumer China.
After clocking 6.9 percent in the first quarter thanks to spending on infrastructure and a property boom that policymakers want to rein in, analysts surveyed by Reuters reckon 2017 economic growth will just about make Beijing’s target of 6.5 percent as it slows over the rest of the year.
China accounts for nearly half the world’s demand for copper, widely used in construction and infrastructure.
* LONDON COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange stood unchanged at $5,611 a tonne by 0127 GMT, after marking a modest 0.04-percent rise overnight.
* SHANGHAI COPPER: The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was up 0.11 percent to 45,340 yuan ($6,586) a tonne.
* NICKEL MINE: Vale Canada said on Tuesday it would suspend operations at its Birchtree nickel mine in the province of Manitoba on Oct. 1 because of weak nickel prices and declining ore grades as the small, 51-year-old mine nears the end of its life.
* BHP: Activist investor Elliott Management raised the pressure for strategic changes at BHP on Tuesday, calling for an independent review of the mining giant’s petroleum business.
* CHINA GROWTH: China’s growth is set for its weakest patch since the global financial crisis as authorities pull back on stimulus
* CHINA BANKERS: China’s banking regulator tightened disclosure rules on lenders’ wealth management products. Separately, the China Banking Regulatory Commission unveiled plans to publish a flurry of regulations later this year to control financial risks.
* LMW LEAD: LME lead was up around 0.8 percent at $2.084 a tonne after sliding to a four-month low overnight. Lead is mainly used in the manufacture of car batteries. ShFE lead dipped by 0.48 percent to 15,675 yuan.
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* U.S. share futures and the dollar slipped in early Asian trade on Wednesday after reports that President Donald Trump asked then-FBI Director James Comey to end a probe into his former security adviser.
DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0900 Euro zone Inflation final Apr
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
Most active ShFE nickel
Three month LME tin
Most active ShFE tin
ARBS ($1 = 6.8840 Chinese yuan renminbi)
Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Joseph Radford