SHANGHAI, July 5 (Reuters) - Copper edged down on Thursday on caution ahead of a meeting later in the session by the European Central Bank, which is expected to cut interest rates to a record low, though additional measures may be needed to support metals.
While metal prices are likely be pressured by traders cutting long positions given an uncertain global demand outlook, hopes for more stimulus by major economies such as China and Britain to combat slowing growth could put a floor on prices.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged down 0.1 percent to $7,719.25 per tonne by 0115 GMT, after falling 1.2 percent in the prior session.
The most-active October copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange edged down 0.2 percent to 55,880 yuan ($8,800) per tonne, snapping five sessions of gains.
The European Central Bank is expected to cut interest rates later on Thursday especially after surveys showing all of Europe's biggest economies are in recession or heading there and there is little sign things will improve soon.
China's services firms grew at their slowest rate in 10 months in June, easing back from May's 19-month peak, as new order growth cooled albeit while marking 43 months of consistent expansion, a private sector survey showed on Wednesday.
In industry news, Australian junior miner CuDECO Ltd signed a joint memorandum of understanding with Swiss mining conglomerate Xstrata Copper and Chinese state-owned trader Minmetals Group for the development of multi-user rail load-out facility near Cloncurry in Queensland, Australia.
Asian shares eased on Thursday as markets awaited the European Central Bank's policy decision later in the day, while the euro was pressured by widespread expectations of a rate cut to support fragile euro zone growth.
1100 Britain BOE rate decision
1145 Euro Zone ECB rate decision
1215 U.S. ADP Employment report for June
1230 U.S. Jobless claims
1400 U.S. ISM Non-manufacturing data for June
Base metals prices at 0115 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg
LME Cu 7719.25 -5.75 -0.07 1.57
SHFE CU FUT OCT2 55880 -90 -0.16 0.45
LME Alum 1957.75 1.75 +0.09 -3.08
SHFE AL FUT OCT2 15650 05 +0.03 -1.20
HG COPPER SEP2 350.85 -3.15 -0.89 2.11
LME Zinc 1892.50 -5.50 -0.29 2.57
SHFE ZN FUT OCT2 14865 35 +0.24 0.47
LME Nickel 16989.00 59.00 +0.35 -9.20
LME Lead 1906.00 0.00 +0.00 -6.34
SHFE PB FUT 14950 0 +0.00 -2.22
LME Tin 18941.00 -209.00 -1.09 -1.35
LME/Shanghai arb 1445
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
^ LME 3-m copper in yuan, including 17 pct VAT, minus SHFE third month
($1 = 6.3477 Chinese yuan)