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.
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)