December 7, 2017 / 4:59 AM / in a year

METALS-London copper mired near two-month low as China demand growth cools

 (Adds details and updates prices)
    By Melanie Burton
    MELBOURNE, Dec 7 (Reuters) - London copper edged up on
Thursday but was still not far from two-month lows amid signs
that growth in China's property and power sectors, both major
copper consumers, is tapering into the year-end.
    Short-term demand for copper in China is weakening, said
broker Argonaut in a report.
    Argonaut noted that China's mid-size cable producers had
seen a decline in new orders for December, while it expects
construction industry, a major driver for copper, to contract
into year-end. Power and property account for around half of
China's copper demand. 
    "We (hold) our view that a recovery in copper prices may be
short-lived and  the copper price will remain under downward
    * London Metal Exchange copper was up 0.2 percent at
$6,566 a tonne by 0747 GMT, after closing little changed in the
previous session. Prices on Tuesday fell to $6,507.50, the
weakest since Oct. 10. Shanghai Futures Exchange copper
slipped 0.7 percent to 51,210 yuan ($7,739) a tonne.
    * ALUMINIUM: Aluminium hovered around four-month lows at
$2,011 a tonne, close to support at the 200-day moving average
of $2,000, a break of which would open the way to further
selling. Shfe aluminium was down 1.4 percent, after
China's winter output cuts were set to be less severe than
initially feared. China is the world's top producer of
    * CHINA ALUMINIUM: High inventory has also weighed on Shfe
aluminium. Shanghai stocks topped 700,000 tonnes this month, the
highest in the nearly two-decade history of the contract and 28
percent above the 2013 cycle peak. AL-STX-SGH 
    * NICKEL: Brazilian miner Vale SA dialled back
its nickel output forecasts for the next five years on
Wednesday, although the world's top producer praised the metal's
longer term prospects on likely soaring demand for electric
    * LME nickel traded close to its recent two-month
trough of $10,755 a tonne hit in the previous session.
    * JAPAN MANUFACTURERS: Confidence among Japanese
manufacturers held firm in December and service-sector sentiment
rose for a second straight month, the Reuters Tankan poll showed
on Thursday, underscoring steady economic growth driven by both
external and domestic demand.
    * GERMANY: German industrial production fell unexpectedly in
October, the Economy Ministry said, adding that public holidays
at the start of the third-quarter that prompted many workers to
take long weekends had significantly contributed to the fall.

    * CHINA INVESTORS: China will "significantly" widen market
access for foreign investors, state radio on Wednesday quoted
vice premier Wang Yang as saying, following a recent move to
raise foreign ownership limits in local financial firms.
    * MARKETS: Asian shares held close to a two-month low on
Thursday as softer oil and copper as well as U.S. policy
uncertainty kept sentiment in check, while high-tech stocks
struggled to recover after a searing sell-off.    
 BASE METALS PRICES                     0735 GMT            
 Three month LME copper                                 6537
 Most active ShFE copper                               51210
 Three month LME aluminium                            2009.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                            14205
 Three month LME zinc                                 3083.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                                 24490
 Three month LME lead                                   2484
 Most active ShFE lead                                 18675
 Three month LME nickel                                10770
 Most active ShFE nickel                               87410
 Three month LME tin                                   19455
 Most active ShFE tin                                 139700
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                                      
 LME/SHFE COPPER               LMESHFCUc3             766.52
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM            LMESHFALc3           -1252.79
 LME/SHFE ZINC                 LMESHFZNc3             283.94
 LME/SHFE LEAD                 LMESHFPBc3           -1115.68
 LME/SHFE NICKEL               LMESHFNIc3            2845.88

($1 = 6.6168 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin and
Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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