Copper METALS-LME eyes worst week since March on selling in China, Fed
HANOI, June 18 (Reuters) – Copper prices in London were set for their worst week since March, under pressure from plans to sell China’s reserves and a firm dollar supported by the prospect of a hike US interest rates.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.4% to $ 9,282 a tonne on Friday at 1:49 am GMT, down 7.2% so far in the week.
The most-traded copper contract in July on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 2.9% to 67,110 yuan ($ 10,412.08) per tonne, its lowest since April 15 and also forecast for a weekly decline.
The dollar was heading for its best week in nearly nine months as investors rushed to factor in an earlier-than-expected end to the extraordinary US monetary stimulus in the days following an unexpected change in tone from the Federal Reserve.
A stronger dollar makes the metals valued by the greenback more expensive and less attractive to holders of other currencies.
Earlier this week, the main consumer of metals, China, announced a plan to sell state reserves of copper, aluminum and zinc, in a bid to curb a sharp rise in commodity prices.
* LME aluminum fell 0.2% to $ 2,396 per tonne, while nickel rose 1% to $ 17,350 per tonne. Aluminum ShFE fell 1.3% to 18,475 yuan per tonne, zinc fell 2.7% to 22,020 yuan per tonne, and lead fell 1.4% to 15,095 yuan per tonne.
* LME copper inventories MCUTX-TOTAL reached their highest level since April 28 at 143,750 tonnes.
* One party controls 50-80% of available zinc inventories and short-term futures, according to LME data.
* China will issue new rules on the management of commodity and service price indexes as the government intensifies surveillance of the country’s commodity markets and struggles to contain inflation.
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DATA / EVENTS (GMT)
0600 UK Retail Sales MM, YY May
0600 UK retail sales excluding fuel MM May
$ 1 = 6.4454 yuan Report by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu