March 1, 2012 / 1:31 AM / 6 years ago

METALS-Copper guarded despite upbeat China data

 SINGAPORE, March 1 (Reuters) - London copper was
little changed early on Thursday in Asia as investors digested
data showing top copper consumer China's manufacturing sector
grew faster than forecast in February.	
 
 FUNDAMENTALS	
 * Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange 
was nearly flat at $8,500.25 a tonne by 0114 GMT, after falling
more than 1 percent on Wednesday.	
 * China's official purchasing managers' index rose to 51 in
February from 50.5 in January, the National Bureau of Statistics
said, above market expectations of 50.7. PMI readings above 50
signal factory expansion while those below 50 point to
contraction. 	
 * Comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke
that the U.S. economy needs to strengthen to further cut the
still high jobless rate and the absence of indications of more
Fed bond purchases fuelled a scramble out of risk assets on
Wednesday, including copper. 	
 * That countered the positive impact from the half a
trillion euros in additional liquidity the European Central Bank
injected into the financial system to help fight a nagging debt
crisis. 	
 * The most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai
Futures Exchange fell 1.2 percent to 60,350 yuan
($9,600) a tonne, chasing losses in London in the previous
session.	
 * A stoppage at Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.'s
 Grasberg mine in Indonesia could be resolved within
days, with talks between workers and management progressing
well, a union official said. 	
 * Glencore has agreed to buy zinc concentrates from
Peruvian miner Volcan without charging for processing, taking
the view that it will be able to more than recoup the charges by
profiting from rises in zinc prices, industry sources said.
	
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 MARKETS NEWS	
 * The euro and commodity currencies nursed heavy losses in
Asia on Thursday as investors cut bullish positions after key
events, including the European Central Bank's cash injection,
passed without surprise. 	
 * U.S. stocks snapped a four-day winning streak after
comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke disappointed
investors hoping for a strong signal of more stimulus. 	
 * U.S. crude futures were steady on Thursday after gaining
half a percent the previous day, spurred by data showing a
modest expansion in the U.S. economy that raised hopes for oil
demand in the world's top oil consumer.    
     
 DATA/EVENTS (GMT)	
 0858  EZ     Markit Mfg PMI          Feb      	
 1000  EZ     Inflation, flash yy     Feb     	
 1330  U.S.   Initial jobless claims  Weekly      	
 1500  U.S.   Construction spending   February    	
 	
  Base metals prices at 0114 GMT
  Metal              Last       Change   Pct Move YTD pct chg
  LME Cu            8500.25      1.25     +0.01     11.85
  SHFE CU FUT MAY2    60350      -720     -1.18      9.01
  HG COPPER MAR2     386.35     -0.75     -0.18     12.44
  LME Alum          2323.00     -7.00     -0.30     15.00
  SHFE AL FUT MAY2    16195       -55     -0.34      2.21
  LME Zinc          2098.00    -14.00     -0.66     13.71
  SHFE ZN FUT MAY2    15965      -175     -1.08      7.91
  LME Nickel       19650.00    395.00     +2.05      5.02
  LME Lead          2182.00     22.00     +1.02      7.22
  SHFE PB FUT      16135.00   -180.00     -1.10      5.56
  LME Tin          23625.00      0.00     +0.00     23.05
  LME/Shanghai arb^    2241
 
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
^ LME 3-month copper in yuan, including 17 pct VAT, minus SHFE third month
            
($1=6.2936 Chinese yuan)	
	
 (Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; Editing by Clarence
Fernandez)	
 	
 

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