March 29, 2017 / 1:43 AM / 8 months ago

METALS-London copper bides time near 8-day top, demand hopes underpin

MELBOURNE, March 29 (Reuters) - London copper held steady near its highest in more than a week on Wednesday, underpinned by expectations of seasonally improving second-quarter demand.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was flat at $5,873 a tonne by 0127 GMT, holding 2 percent gains from the previous session when prices struck the highest since March 20 at $5,903 a tonne.

Prices have found a support at the 100-day moving average (DMA) around $5,767 and resistance around the 30 DMA at $5,881.

* SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper was up 2.4 percent at 47,460 yuan a tonne.

* CHINA SMELTERS: China’s top copper smelters have agreed to an 11 percent cut in second-quarter treatment and refining fees, after disruptions at the world’s two biggest copper mines curbed the global supply of raw material, three sources said on Tuesday.

* U.S. ECONOMY: U.S. consumer confidence surged to a more than 16-year high in March amid growing labor market optimism while the goods trade deficit narrowed sharply in February, indicating the economy was regaining momentum after faltering at the start of the year.

* CHINA MANUFACTURING: China said on Tuesday it would expand the scope for insurance companies to provide more low-cost and long-term funds for the manufacturing sector as part of a broader effort to ramp up financial support for struggling manufacturers to upgrade.

* LME NEWS: Regulatory delays to a proposal to slash initial clearing margins by the London Metal Exchange has dealt another blow to the exchange’s ability to fend off competition from U.S. rival CME Group, whose margins are sharply lower.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Wall Street followed gains in stocks globally on Tuesday after U.S. consumer confidence soared to a more than 16-year high, while the U.S. dollar bounced from a four-month low to post its best day in nearly a month.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0600 Germany Import prices Feb

0645 France Consumer confidence Mar

1400 U.S. Pending homes sales Feb

PRICES

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

Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri

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