October 18, 2017 / 5:24 AM / a year ago

METALS-London copper edges down; China congress in focus

 (Adds comment, detail, updates prices)
    By Melanie Burton
    MELBOURNE, Oct 18 (Reuters) - London copper on Wednesday
eased from three-year highs hit earlier in the week, but was
supported by solid demand-growth expectations, with markets
looking to policy announcements from China's Communist Party
    "China's underlying demand for copper remains stable and
solid," said Hong Kong-based broker Argonaut Securities.
     There has been stable demand from China's power sector, and
strong demand from its auto and electronic sectors, which has
offset a slight slowdown in construction, and weak demand from
the home appliance sector, it said.
    More broadly, a pickup in global manufacturing has also
brightened the demand outlook, said Argonaut analyst Helen Lau. 
    "(A) synchronized PMI expansion, especially in the U.S.,
Europe and Japan points to a rosy demand recovery outlook,
positive for copper demand."  
    * LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper had
slipped 0.2 percent to $7,016.50 by 0723 GMT, having pared
earlier small gains and after giving up 1.5 percent in the
previous session. It marked its strongest in more than three
years at $7,177 on Monday. 
    * SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper
slipped 0.9 percent to 54,890 yuan ($8,291) a tonne.
    * CHINA CONGRESS: Chinese President Xi Jinping opened the
critical Communist Party Congress on Wednesday with a pledge to
build a "modern socialist country" for a "new era" that will be
proudly Chinese, steadfastly ruled by the party but open to the
    * CHINA ALUMINIUM: The Chinese government's campaign to
reduce smog pollution and whittle down excess production is set
to take around a tenth of its aluminium smelting capacity out of
the market by the year-end, potentially adding fuel to a
months-long price rally.
    * ZINC, LEAD: In Shanghai, zinc fell 2 percent and
lead slid 5 percent, tracking losses in ShFE rebar
 which fell 2.3 percent. Zinc stocks jumped by 16,250
tonnes after a large delivery order for tonnage from Antwerp was
cancelled. <0#MZNSTX-LOC-GRD>
    * LEAD: A lead trader in China said spot demand for lead has
been weak, because of lower demand from battery makers. Some
have cut back production and others stocked up in September. 
"But actually the fundamentals for lead are not that weak - it's
    * METALS DEMAND: Flush order books and solid output figures
boosted morale among German investors in October, the ZEW
research institute said on Tuesday, suggesting a strong phase of
growth in Europe's biggest economy has further to run.
    * PERU: More than 20 companies have expressed an interest in
bidding on the $2 billion Peruvian copper project Michiquillay
in an auction due to take place on Dec. 20, the Peruvian
government said on Monday.
    * RIO TINTO: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
(SEC) on Tuesday charged mining company Rio Tinto Plc,
 and two of its former top executives with fraud, saying
they inflated the value of coal assets in Mozambique and
concealed critical information while tapping the market for
billions of dollars.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    * Asian shares consolidated recent gains and currencies kept
to tight ranges on Wednesday.    
 BASE METALS PRICES              0714 GMT            
 Three month LME copper                        7020.5
 Most active ShFE copper                        54890
 Three month LME aluminium                       2127
 Most active ShFE                               16080
 Three month LME zinc                            3087
 Most active ShFE zinc                          25295
 Three month LME lead                            2484
 Most active ShFE lead                          19390
 Three month LME nickel                         11765
 Most active ShFE nickel                        94710
 Three month LME tin                            20390
 Most active ShFE tin                          145380
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                               
 LME/SHFE COPPER            LMESHFCUc3         600.89
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM         LMESHFALc3        -311.05
 LME/SHFE ZINC              LMESHFZNc3         768.56
 LME/SHFE LEAD              LMESHFPBc3        -660.29
 LME/SHFE NICKEL            LMESHFNIc3        2299.59

($1 = 6.6207 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and
Joseph Radford)
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