February 25, 2016 / 4:13 AM / 4 years ago

METALS-London copper slips as China stocks sag; jitters resurface

* China property prices seen rising on support measures
    * South 32 to run South Africa aluminium operations at lower
    * Coming up: U.S. durable goods orders at 1330 GMT

 (Adds comment, detail; updates prices)
    By Melanie Burton
    MELBOURNE, Feb 25 (Reuters) - London copper reversed early
gains on Thursday, as worries resurfaced that stuttering global
growth is stunting activity in top metals consumer China, and
its local sharemarket tanked.
     China stocks tumbled more than 6 percent on Thursday,
posting their biggest one-day loss in a month, as investors
booked profits after the market's recent rebound. 
   China's leaders voiced support for the embattled domestic
currency on Thursday, with the country's vice finance minister
saying policymakers are committed to market transparency and
aware of the impact their decisions have on other economies,
ahead of the G-20 meet. 
     Recent gains in metals had been supported by some better
sentiment coming through steel, which could flag a demand
improvement since it was used earlier in the economic cycle than
copper, said UBS analyst Lachlan Shaw in Melbourne. 
    "(But) whether that's just a seasonal uptick or more
reflective of better underlying demand, we won't know until
mid-March, when the first batch of macro data for 2016 is
released in China. If it's just a seasonal uptick ahead of the
peak construction period in Q2, it's not going to get us out of
this downcycle funk."
    Chinese iron ore prices inched up on Thursday on firmer
steel prices as investors expected steel demand to pick up in
    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had
slipped 0.2 percent to $4,634 a tonne by 0727 GMT, after closing
little changed from the previous session. It had earlier climbed
by as much as half a percent.
    Shanghai Futures Exchange copper trimmed an early
advance to a loss of 0.2 percent to end at 35,920 yuan a tonne. 
    Other metals also pared early gains, Shanghai and LME zinc
 to around 0.5 percent and LME lead to around 1
    More tepid signals emerged from China, dampening the rally
in metals, although a string of fresh measures to boost China's
ailing property industry offered underlying support. 
    China's industry ministry on Thursday said the country's
economy was facing increasing downwards pressure. 
    It said efforts to tackle overcapacity would not cause
large-scale unemployment. 
    Elsewhere, the Group of 20 nations must plan now for a
coordinated stimulus programme to keep a slowing global economy
from stalling, International Monetary Fund staff said in a
    Australia's South32 Ltd on Thursday reported a
first-half loss of $1.7 billion, hurt by big writedowns for its
manganese and energy coal businesses. 
   It also said it plans to run its South African aluminium
division at current reduced rates until at least mid-2016.
    Three month LME copper          
    Most active ShFE copper         
    Three month LME aluminium       
    Most active ShFE aluminium      
    Three month LME zinc            
    Most active ShFE zinc           
    Three month LME lead            
    Most active ShFE lead           
    Three month LME nickel          
    Most active ShFE nickel          
    Three month LME tin             
    Most active ShFE tin                        

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin and
Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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