April 19, 2017 / 11:29 AM / 3 months ago

METALS-Fund selling pushes copper to 14-week low

3 Min Read

(Recasts, adds quotes, updates with closing prices)

* LME-SHFE arb: tmsnrt.rs/2oQ5nm2

By Peter Hobson

LONDON, April 19 (Reuters) - Copper fell for a second day on Wednesday after a surge of fund selling just before the close reversed gains and drove the metal to a 14-week low, traders said.

"$5,500 seems to be a key level. There appears to be an attempt to push it through that," David Wilson, an analyst at Citi, said.

* LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed down 0.3 percent at $5,556 a tonne, its lowest since Jan 9. The metal fell 2.1 percent on Tuesday.

"Should (copper) fail to close above $5652 today for a second day running, we might be on track for a possible test of next support at $5,536," said Edward Meir, an analyst at INTL FCStone.

* CHINA SUPPLY: Chinese refined copper output in March rose 8.5 percent from a year ago to 764,000 tonnes, the highest since at least December 2015, official data showed. Aluminium and iron ore output levels were the lowest in months.

* CHINA DEMAND: Prices in China's sizzling property market accelerated in March on a monthly basis, while the International Monetary Fund raised forecasts for China's economic growth in 2017 and 2018.

* FREEPORT: Freeport McMoRan Inc received preliminary approval to resume copper concentrate exports from the world's second-largest copper mine in Indonesia and hopes to apply for an export permit this week.

* CHILE DISRUPTION: Chile's Codelco suspended operations at the concentrator plant at its Salvador copper mine after a supervisor died in an accident. Salvador produced 60,000 tonnes of copper in 2016.

* LME ZINC: Zinc closed up 1 percent at $2,550 a tonne, rising above its 200-day moving average, currently at $2,235, after falling to a 3 1/2-month low on Tuesday.

* ZINC TECHNICALS: If zinc holds above $2,520-$2,515 a tonne, "a tentative pullback is likely towards the near term steeper channel at $2,590/$2,608 and perhaps even to the multi-month graphical levels of $2,645", said Stephanie Aymes, head of technical analysis at Societe Generale.

* NICKEL: The global market for refined nickel deepened its deficit to 4,400 tonnes in February from a deficit of 1,100 tonnes in January, data from the International Nickel Study Group showed.

* LME LEAD: Lead also rose back above its 200-day moving average after falling 6.2 percent on Tuesday. It ended up 2.6 percent at $2,160 a tonne.

* OTHER METALS: LME Aluminium closed up 0.6 percent at $1,903 a tonne. Tin did not trade but was bid 1.5 percent higher at $19,775. Nickel finished up 0.3 percent at $9,340, after touching $9,305, its lowest since June, on Tuesday.

Additional reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Edmund Blair/Adrian Croft/Alexander Smith

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