Metals News
LME Copper at 4-Month Low on Greece, China Worries
industry news
May 15,2012

SINGAPORE, May 15 (Reuters) - London copper hit fresh four-month lows on Tuesday as investors steered clear of riskier assets with no resolution in sight to Greece's political distress that is compounding investor concerns about a slowing Chinese economy. 
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange  dropped 0.9 percent to $7,767.25 a tonne by 0107 GMT, extending its losing streak to a third session. The metal touched a low of $7,763.50 earlier, its weakest since Jan. 12.
At its highest point this year, at $8,765 in February, copper was up as much as 15 percent on year after Greece clinched a bailout deal to avoid a debt default. Now that gain has thinned to just over 2 percent with Greece struggling to form a coalition government that is key to its bailout-funded recovery.  

The most-traded August copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 1.6 percent to 55,340 yuan ($8,800) a tonne. 

Greece's president will ask politicians on Tuesday to stand aside and let a government of technocrats steer the nation away from bankruptcy, but leftists have already rejected the proposal and look set to force a new election they reckon they can win.  

Outside of Greece, investors are worried about a slowdown in China, seeing Beijing's weekend move to cut banks' reserves to boost lending as an affirmation that the world's No. 2 economy and top copper consumer is weakening further.  
China is likely to cut the amount of cash lenders must hold as reserves by another 100 basis points this year and lean more on fiscal policy to support the economy's growth, which is  likely to bottom out in the second quarter at 7.9 percent year on year, a Reuters poll showed.  

Markets News 
The euro slipped to a four-month low against the dollar as political impasse in Greece raised fear the country may renege on bailout pledges and exit the currency bloc.  

Asian shares fell as investors liquidated riskier assets and sought refuge from the political turmoil fuelling fears of Greece's exit from the euro and threatening to ruin any progress made so far to solve the euro zone debt crisis.  
    0600  Germany   GDP flash yy             Q1    
    0800  Italy     GDP prelim yy            Q1    
    0900  EZ        GDP flash estimate yy    Q1    
    0900  Germany   ZEW economic sentiment   May   
    1145  U.S.      ICSC chain stores yy     Weekly
    1230  U.S.      CPI yy, nsa              Apr   
    1230  U.S.      Retail sales mm          Apr    
    1400  U.S.      NAHB housing market indx May   
    1400  U.S.      Business inventories mm  Mar   
  Base metals prices at 0107 GMT
  Metal              Last       Change   Pct Move YTD pct chg
  LME Cu            7767.25    -67.75     -0.86      2.20
  SHFE CU FUT AUG2    55340      -920     -1.64     -0.04
  HG COPPER JUL2     351.90     -3.50     -0.98      2.42
  LME Alum          2021.00     -4.00     -0.20      0.05
  SHFE AL FUT AUG2    15930       -60     -0.38      0.54
  LME Zinc          1906.00    -14.00     -0.73      3.31
  SHFE ZN FUT AUG2    14850      -120     -0.80      0.37
  LME Nickel       16900.00     25.00     +0.15     -9.67
  LME Lead          2029.00     -6.50     -0.32     -0.29
  SHFE PB FUT      15410.00   -120.00     -0.77      0.82
  LME Tin          20050.00      0.00     +0.00      4.43
  LME/Shanghai arb^    1791
   Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
   ^ LME 3-month copper in yuan, including 17 pct VAT, minus SHFE third month
 ($1 = 6.3215 Chinese yuan)

London copper Tuesday
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