March 22, 2017 / 12:08 PM / 3 years ago

METALS-Copper rebounds as funds return, lead hits five-week peak

 (Recasts, updates with closing prices)
    By Eric Onstad
    LONDON, March 22 (Reuters) - Copper rebounded from a near
two-week low on Wednesday as investors took advantage of a
correction to rebuild long positions amid persistent supply
issues, including a strike at the world's biggest copper mine in
    The metal had earlier joined a sell-off in shares, oil and
other commodities on concerns that U.S. President Trump had yet
to implement mooted tax cuts and infrastructure spending.
    Lead, meanwhile, hit its highest in more than a month on
worries over short-term supply after on-warrant, or available,
LME inventories MPBSTX-TOTAL slid by 36 percent.
    "If you're looking to get long these are better levels at
which to attract some further buying. People think this is a
correction in an overall uptrending market," said Robin Bhar,
head of metals research at Societe Generale in London.
    "We still have quite of few supply threats in copper,
aluminium and in nickel." 
    * COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
        closed up 0.6 percent at $5,808 a tonne, bouncing from
its weakest since March 10 at $5,715 a tonne.
    * DOLLAR: Metals also gained support from a weaker dollar,
which hit a four-month low against the yen while the dollar
index        touched its weakest since Feb. 3.        
    * MARKETS: Shares fell, driving investors to the safety of
government debt, gold and the yen, as doubts on President
Trump's ability to deliver on the pledges that had powered
stocks markets to record highs.               
    * CHINA SMELTERS: Copper stocks in China's Shenzhen are seen
as ample, while Chinese smelters are still not rushing to buy
spot copper concentrate shipments, a smelter source said.
    * COPPER SPREADS: LME cash copper prices traded at their
steepest discount to three-month prices since Jan. 18, data
showed CMCU0-3 -- the widest spread since June 2015,
suggesting the refined market is still in ample supply.      
    * ESCONDIDA: BHP Billiton                 decided to suspend
work indefinitely at projects linked to its Escondida mine in
Chile, because of continuing union blockades at the world's
largest copper mine in a strike that has extended to 42 days.
The union and company were due to resume talks on Wednesday.
    * LEAD:         was the biggest gainer on the LME. The metal
rose 4.1 percent to close at $2,367, its highest since Feb. 15.
    * NICKEL:         was the biggest loser, falling 1.4 percent
to end at $10,020, partly pulled down by losses in Chinese steel
    * OTHER METALS: Aluminium         finished 0.3 percent
weaker at $1,922, zinc         rose 1 percent to $2,857 and tin
        closed 0.2 percent up at $20,440.
    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                             

 (Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne; Editing
by Ruth Pitchford and David Goodman)
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