By James Regan
SYDNEY May 17 London copper prices were largely
unchanged 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.
"Copper's trading on the sidelines for now, there's not much
fundamentally to push it up," said a commodities trader in Perth
on condition of anonymity.
* LONDON COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange was 0.19 percent higher at $5,622 a tonne by
0127 GMT, after marking a similar gain overnight.
* SHANGHAI COPPER: The most-traded copper contract on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 0.22 percent at
45,390 yuan ($6,590)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
* 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
* CHINA GROWTH: China's growth is set for its weakest patch
since the global financial crisis as authorities pull back on
* CHINA BANKERS: China's banking regulator has 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.
* LME LEAD: LME lead was up around 0.7 percent at
$2.098 a tonne after sliding to a four-month low overnight. Lead
is mainly used to manufacture car batteries. ShFE lead
dipped 0.25 percent to 15,710 yuan.
* For the top stories in metals and other news, click
* 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
($1 = 6.8840 Chinese yuan renminbi)
($1 = 6.8880 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Joseph Radford)