By Mai Nguyen
SINGAPORE, June 26 (Reuters) - London copper eased from a five-week high on Wednesday as long investors took profits from recent gains, while prices were also pressured by a stronger dollar after comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve chairman diminished dovish enthusiasm.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) fell 0.6% to $6,004 a tonne by 0727 GMT, after hitting its highest since May 21 in the previous session.
The dollar edged up after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell asserted its independence and pushed back against U.S. President Donald Trump’s call for a steep cut.
Meanwhile in China, the Shanghai Interbank Offered Rate for the overnight tenor fell to its lowest since June 2009 of 0.9910% on Wednesday, as liquidity in the banking system remained ample.
A stronger dollar makes greenback-priced metals on the LME more expensive for holders of other currencies, while a lower interest rate in China makes borrowing costs cheaper for investors who want to buy metals contracts in Shanghai.
The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) rose 0.6% to 47,210 yuan ($6,859.53) a tonne.
* ZINC: Zinc prices on ShFE jumped as much as 2% to a one-week high of 20,180 yuan a tonne before ending up 1.5%.
* ZINC SMELTERS: “Some major smelters were underutilised in the past months (due to) environmental restrictions and Zhuzhou relocating its smelters. Current inventory (in China) is still low,” said analyst Dina Yu of metals consultant firm CRU.
* Yu expected weaker refined zinc output in July due to maintenance at some smelters, but said output is likely to rise during August and December due to higher utilisation rates.
* TRADE TALKS: The United States hopes to re-launch trade talks with China after their presidents meet on Saturday, but Washington wants Beijing to come back with the promises it withdrew before talks broke down, a senior U.S. official said.
* CHINA: China’s retail sales is seen growing at a slower-than-expected pace and would now overtake the United States only in 2021 rather than this year, as the Sino-U.S. trade war takes a toll on demand, said market researcher eMarketer.
* RARE EARTH: China’s exports of rare earth magnets to the United States rose more than 20% in May from the previous month to their highest since at least 2016, official data showed on Tuesday, as Beijing considers restricting shipments.
* PRICES: Benchmark aluminium rose 0.3%, nickel advanced 0.5%, zinc edged up 0.1%. In Shanghai, most metals rose, with nickel gaining 1% and aluminium rising 0.3%.
* BYD IN CANADA: Chinese electric vehicle maker BYD Co Ltd said on Tuesday it had opened its first plant in Canada, which will initially focus on assembling buses for the Toronto Transit Commission, a public transport agency.
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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
ARBS ($1 = 6.8824 Chinese yuan renminbi)
Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu & Uttaresh.V