SHANGHAI, July 13 (Reuters) - London copper edged down on Friday as investors closed positions on caution ahead of data on China's second-quarter growth that markets fear could be its slowest in more than three years. The data is due around 0200 GMT.
Although prices may fall should the figures be much lower than expected, some positive data and news out of major economies are expected to put a floor under prices. These include China's better than expected new loan amounts in June, a smaller than expected rise in U.S. jobs benefits claims and the increased possibility of the euro zone rolling out more stimulus policies.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange inched down 0.3 percent to $7,535 per tonne by 0101 GMT, after rising 0.2 percent on Thursday, on track to end the week up 0.2 percent.
The most-active October copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.1 percent to 55,180 yuan ($8,700) per tonne, catching up with London's previous gains, after ending the prior session flat. It is on track to end the week down 0.8 percent.
China will release on Friday GDP figures that are expected to be the weakest since the three months to March 2009 during the global financial crisis, but may raise chances of Beijing further easing its monetary policy.
Chinese banks extended new loans of 919.8 billion yuan ($144.43 billion) in June, hitting a three-month high and raising hopes that policy easing may be gaining some traction to help head off a sharper slowdown in the world's second-largest economy.
The number of Americans signing up for new jobless benefits fell to a four-year low last week but an unusual pattern of summer factory shutdowns suggested layoffs might pick up again in coming weeks.
European Central Bank policymakers held out the possibility on Thursday of taking further measures to boost the zone's flagging economy after a cut in their deposit rate to zero showed no sign of jolting banks into lending more money.
Euro zone factories unexpectedly stepped up production in May, but output fell in France and the Netherlands in a further sign that the bloc's sovereign debt crisis is also hurting its stronger economies.
Asian shares marked time with small gains on Friday ahead of China's second-quarter gross domestic product figures, which could depress risk appetite, while a Moody's downgrade of Italy's credit rating threatened to rekindle worries over Europe's debt crisis.
The euro came close to testing a two-year trough versus the greenback on Friday after Moody's cut Italy's credit rating by two notches, an unexpected setback for a jittery market already bracing for a weak reading on China's economy.
0200 China GDP yy Apr
0200 China Industrial output yy Jun
0200 China Retail sales yy Jun
0200 China Urban investment (ytd)yy Jun
0430 Japan Industrial output rev May
1230 U.S. PPI Jun
1930 U.S. CFTC commitment of traders data Weekly
Base metals prices at 0101 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg
LME Cu 7535.00 -20.00 -0.26 -0.86
SHFE CU FUT OCT2 55180 30 +0.05 -0.81
LME Alum 1884.75 2.75 +0.15 -6.70
SHFE AL FUT OCT2 15445 -25 -0.16 -2.49
HG COPPER SEP2 341.55 0.05 +0.01 -0.60
LME Zinc 1842.00 -1.00 -0.05 -0.16
SHFE ZN FUT OCT2 14650 05 +0.03 -0.98
LME Nickel 15850.00 75.00 +0.48 -15.29
LME Lead 1854.00 -2.00 -0.11 -8.89
SHFE PB FUT 14810 -60 -0.40 -3.14
LME Tin 18500.00 0.00 +0.00 -3.65
LME/Shanghai arb 1006
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
^ LME 3-m copper in yuan, including 17 pct VAT, minus SHFE third month
($1 = 6.3733 Chinese yuan)