May 24, 2017 / 7:31 AM / 3 years ago

METALS-London copper slips after Moody's downgrades China

 (Adds comment, detail; updates prices)
    By Melanie Burton
    MELBOURNE, May 24 (Reuters) - London copper fell on
Wednesday after credit ratings agency Moody's downgraded China
due to its massive debt, with muted trade expected ahead of the
release later in the session of minutes from the Federal
Reserve's last meeting.
    "After a set of less-than-positive U.S. data, a debt
(agency) downgrading China, Noble struggling ... and the banks
reporting a 29-percent drop in commodities revenue, the markets
were always going to struggle and struggle they are," said
Kingdom Futures in a report.
    * LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper was down
0.7 percent at $5,671.50 a tonne as of 0700 GMT, after closing
slightly higher in the previous session. Prices have fallen from
near two-year peaks above $6,200 in February to a $5,480-$5,720
range since early May after the rally sparked a flood of scrap
    * SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper
edged down as much as 0.4 percent to 45,780 yuan ($6,645) a
    * NICKEL: Nickel was particularly hard hit, falling by 1.7
percent in London and 2.3 percent in Shanghai,
dragged down by losses in steel and after China trade data
showed a surge in ore imports from the Philippines.
    * CHINA: Moody's Investors Service downgraded China's credit
ratings on Wednesday for the first time in nearly 30 years,
saying it expects the financial strength of the economy will
erode in coming years as growth slows and debt continues to
    * FED: Immediate market focus was on the minutes of the
Fed's latest policy-setting meeting, set for publication at 1800
GMT on Wednesday. The market already expects the Fed to hike
interest rates in June, but given the greenback's recent
weakness, dollar bulls are expected to welcome any hawkish hints
by the central bank. 
    * U.S. PROPERTY: New U.S. single-family home sales tumbled
from near a 9-1/2-year high in April, but the housing recovery
likely remains intact amid a tightening labour market. 

    * BANKS: Commodities-related revenue at the 12 biggest
investment banks plunged 29 percent year-on-year in the first
quarter of 2017 to its lowest in more than a decade, mainly due
to weakness in the energy sector, a consultancy said on
    * NOBLE: Struggling commodity trader Noble Group Ltd
 said on Wednesday it was still in discussions with
various potential strategic parties as it sought to regain
market confidence, but its shares fell 11 percent in early
    * China's imports of refined copper in April slid by 41
percent from a year ago, trade data showed on Tuesday, as
traders found their buying power crimped by tighter access to
    * MARKETS: Asian shares edged lower in early trade on
Wednesday, while the Australian dollar and the offshore Chinese
yuan slipped after Moody's cut China's credit rating.
    * COMING UP: Fed releases minutes of May 2-3 meeting at 1800
 BASE METALS PRICES               0713 GMT           
 Three month LME copper                          5649
 Most active ShFE copper                        45770
 Three month LME aluminium                     1937.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                     13985
 Three month LME zinc                          2635.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                          22380
 Three month LME lead                          2090.5
 Most active ShFE lead                          15905
 Three month LME nickel                          9165
 Most active ShFE nickel                        76260
 Three month LME tin                            20315
 Most active ShFE tin                          144270
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                               
 LME/SHFE COPPER               LMESHFCUc3      308.17
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM            LMESHFALc3    -1564.09
 LME/SHFE ZINC                 LMESHFZNc3      402.86
 LME/SHFE LEAD                 LMESHFPBc3    -1395.76
 LME/SHFE NICKEL               LMESHFNIc3     1333.66
($1 = 6.8891 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips
and Joseph Radford)
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