SHANGHAI, June 14 (Reuters) - Copper prices fell on Thursday as weak retail sales data from the United States stirred worries over slowing growth in the world's largest economy.
Investors are also cautious ahead of an Italian debt auction later in the session and a Greek election on the weekend. Negative outcomes to either event would compound market concerns over Spain's finances and the euro zone's debt problems, possibly driving a stampede out of riskier assets.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.2 percent to $7,375 a tonne by 0113 GMT. That put it on track to post three consecutive sessions of losses, after Monday's 1.7 percent jump on a short-lived rally after a bailout package for Spain's banks was announced.
The most-active September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange lost 0.5 percent to 53,810 yuan ($8,400) a tonne, catching up with London's previous losses after rising 0.6 percent on Wednesday.
U.S. retail sales fell for a second straight month in May and wholesale prices dropped by the most in three years, adding to a raft of other recent signals, including reports on employment and manufacturing, that have pointed to a slowdown in economic recovery.
The sluggishness of the U.S. economy was also highlighted by a Reuters poll of economists which showed the world's largest economy growing more slowly and creating fewer jobs than thought only a month ago.
In the euro zone, credit ratings agency Moody's Investors Service cut its rating on Spanish government debt on Wednesday by three notches to Baa3 from A3, saying the newly approved euro zone plan to help Spain's banks would increase the country's debt burden.
Adding to worries over Spain, more economists polled by Reuters recently said they thought Spain would seek an international sovereign bailout as compared to an earlier survey in April.
The poll results, which showed a slim majority of economists believing this, came just days after Madrid sought up to 100 billion euros to rescue its banks.
Technocrat Prime Minister Mario Monti appealed to Italy's politicians on Wednesday to back his tough economic medicine to avoid Rome becoming the next victim of the euro debt crisis. Italy will hold a debt sale of up to 4.5 billion euros ($5.66 billion) later in the session.
Global stocks and the dollar fell on Wednesday on the concerns over Europe's long-simmering debt crisis.
The euro clung on to most of its overnight gains early in Asia on Thursday, while commodity currencies such as the Australian dollar came under renewed pressure following a negative close on Wall Street.
0430 Japan Industrial output rev Apr
0900 Euro Zone Inflation, final yy May
1230 U.S. CPI May
1230 U.S. Jobless claims Weekly
1230 U.S. Current account Q1
Base metals prices at 0113 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg
LME Cu 7375.00 -15.00 -0.20 -2.96
SHFE CU FUT SEP2 53810 -260 -0.48 -3.27
LME Alum 1966.00 2.00 +0.10 -2.67
SHFE AL FUT SEP2 15860 -40 -0.25 0.13
HG COPPER JUL2 332.85 -1.10 -0.33 -3.13
LME Zinc 1882.25 0.25 +0.01 2.02
SHFE ZN FUT SEP2 14770 -50 -0.34 -0.17
LME Nickel 17040.00 60.00 +0.35 -8.93
LME Lead 1898.00 -1.00 -0.05 -6.73
SHFE PB FUT 0 -14980 -100.00 -100.00
LME Tin 19450.00 0.00 +0.00 1.30
LME/Shanghai arb 887
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
^ LME 3-m copper in yuan, including 17 pct VAT, minus SHFE third month
($1 = 0.7953 euros)
($1 = 6.3691 Chinese yuan)