MANILA, May 17 -- Zinc, lead and nickel futures in London fell sharply on Monday, while Shanghai aluminium nearly hit its downside limit as investors sold base metals, shunning risky assets in favour of safe havens like gold and the dollar.
The euro sank to four-year lows against the U.S. dollar amid angst over Europe's debt crisis, with Asian equities also taking a beating.
LME zinc CMZN3 slid more than 4 percent to $1,970 a tonne at 0620 GMT and lead CMPB3 fell 4.4 percent to $1,855.
LME nickel CMNI3 shed 3.3 percent to $20,844 a tonne.
Shanghai's benchmark third month aluminium SAFc3 fell as low as 14,895 yuan per tonne, down 4.8 percent and a tad off its daily floor of 14,890 yuan.