RTRS: METALS-Copper sinks to lowest in nearly 2 weeks, lead hits month peak
(Adds quotes, updates prices, changes dateline from MELBOURNE)
By Eric Onstad
LONDON, March 22 Copper fell on Wednesday,
joining a sell-off in shares, oil and other commodities on
disappointment that U.S. President Trump was failing to
implement plans to cut taxes and boost infrastructure spending.
Lead bucked the trend, however, hitting the highest in a
month, after available LME inventories slid by 36 percent,
creating worries about short-term supply.
"We seem to be having a bout of profit taking set against
some falls in equity markets and some risk aversion," said Robin
Bhar, head of metals research at Societe Generale in London.
"There looks to be a reassessment taking place since Trump
hasn't said very much lately about tax cuts or infrastructure
spending and markets are probably running out of patience," he
"I think it's a correction rather than any more than that.
We're heading into the second quarter and the markets are still
well positioned to get some more modest gains."
* COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
had shed 0.7 percent to $5,738.50 a tonne by 1150 GMT,
extending losses from the previous session. Earlier in the day,
prices hit their weakest since March 10 at $5,715 a tonne, but
found support at the 100-day moving average ($5,722).
* MARKETS: Growing doubts Trump will be able to deliver on a
promise of tax cuts that has powered stocks markets to record
highs pushed shares lower and drove investors to seek safety in
government debt, gold and the yen.
* 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, which was the widest since June 2015,
suggesting the refined market is still in ample supply.
* ESCONDIDA: The striking union at BHP Billiton's
Escondida copper mine in Chile, the world's
largest, will meet with the company on Wednesday to resume
conversations, both parties said on Tuesday night.
* LEAD: was the biggest gainer on the LME, climbing
as much as 1.9 percent to a month high of $2,315.50 after
on-warrant LME stocks MPBSTX-TOTAL - those not earmarked for
shipment and therefore available to investors - slid by 36
percent. The impact would likely be short-lived, however, since
the move was probably linked to a strategy to roll over or close
out an LME position, Bhar said.
* NICKEL: was the biggest loser, falling 1.7 percent
to $9,985, pulled down by losses in Chinese steel