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TMS: 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 (Reuters) - 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 added. "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." FUNDAMENTALS * 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 , 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 - 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 futures DATA/EVENTS 1300 U.S. Monthly home price index Jan 1400 U.S. Existing home sales Feb PRICES 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 (Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne; Editing by Ruth Pitchford)