April 20, 2017 / 7:17 AM / 3 years ago

METALS-London copper hovers above 2017 low as China stocks weigh

 (Adds detail, updates prices)
    By Melanie Burton
    MELBOURNE, April 20 (Reuters) - London copper rose on
Thursday but was still not far from its lowest for the year
after China's refined production surged in March, underlining
ample stocks in the world's biggest metals consumer. 
    China's refined copper output rose 8.5 percent in March from
a year ago to its highest since at least December 2015.
    "The emergence of opportunistic buying should see the recent
selloff in metal markets come to an end," ANZ said in a report. 
    * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange was up 1 percent at $5,609 a tonne by 0703 GMT,
after closing slightly lower in the previous session when prices
hit the weakest since early January at $5,530 a tonne. 
    * SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper
pared losses to close down 0.2 percent at 45,560 yuan ($6,616)a
    * CHINA OUTPUT: China's refined copper output rose 8.5
percent in March from a year ago to 764,000 tonnes, its highest
since at least December 2015, while aluminium and iron ore
output levels were the lowest in months, according to the
National Statistics Bureau.
    * NICKEL: Short-dated nickel contracts have surged this
week, reflecting a lack of immediately available supply. Nickel
for tomorrow next day (tom/next) delivery traded as high as $10
this week and $7.50 last, the highest since December CMNIT-O.
    * ZINC: ShFE zinc rallied 3.3 percent, away from
near year-to-date lows, as steel prices cut losses. Shfe nickel
 was up 1 percent and Shfe lead up 2.3 percent.
    * CHINA CAPITAL: Capital outflows from China eased sharply
in the first quarter and cross border flows were more balanced,
the foreign exchange regulator said on Thursday, in the latest
official comments indicating policymakers are growing less
worried about the yuan currency.
    * JAPAN ECONOMY: Confidence among Japanese manufacturers has
risen for an eighth straight month to a level not seen since
before the 2008 global financial crisis, a Reuters survey found,
reflecting output and export gains led by overseas economic
    * INVESTORS: Total global commodity assets under management
(AUM) fell to $277 billion in March from $282 billion the month
before, Barclays said in a note.
   * RIO TINTO: Rio Tinto cut its copper
guidance to 500,000-550,000 tonnes from as much as 665,000
tonnes as a result of a strike at the Escondida mine in Chile
and the curtailment of production at the Grasberg mine in
    MARKETS: Asian stocks erased early losses and edged higher
on Thursday as steadying commodity prices, especially crude oil,
prompted some bargain hunting by investors.    
 BASE METALS PRICES                  0705 GMT            
 Three month LME copper                              5613
 Most active ShFE copper                            45550
 Three month LME aluminium                           1930
 Most active ShFE aluminium                         14335
 Three month LME zinc                                2607
 Most active ShFE zinc                              21655
 Three month LME lead                                2172
 Most active ShFE lead                              16150
 Three month LME nickel                              9495
 Most active ShFE nickel                            79680
 Three month LME tin                                19840
 Most active ShFE tin                              140820
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                                   
 LME/SHFE COPPER             LMESHFCUc3             372.1
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM          LMESHFALc3           -1124.6
 LME/SHFE ZINC               LMESHFZNc3            287.13
 LME/SHFE LEAD               LMESHFPBc3           -1856.6
 LME/SHFE NICKEL             LMESHFNIc3            771.91
($1 = 6.8860 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and
Subhranshu Sahu)
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