By Melanie Burton
SINGAPORE, April 1 (Reuters) - Shanghai copper fell to its
lowest level in more than nine months on Monday, pressured by a
weak euro and new measures to douse China's red hot property
sector, while the London Metal Exchange was closed, draining
liquidity from the market.
The most-traded July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange fell more than 2 percent to 53,600 yuan
($8,600) a tonne, its lowest since June 27, before closing at
53,740 a tonne.
Lead also dropped, to its lowest since late
September 2011 at 14,375 yuan a tonne, although ShFE aluminium and zinc both held above recent lows.
'Given demand is picking up and inventory is falling, I
would say it's macro-related. I think the main reason is the
strong dollar,' said metals analyst Wan Ling of consultancy CRU
'The white good sector is quite strong. Power cables are
better than last year.'
China is the world's top consumer of copper, accounting for
40 percent of refined demand.
Stronger domestic appetite helped China's factory activity
rebound in March, with new orders up sharply in a sign that the
underlying economic recovery is strong enough to weather any
risks from patchy export performance, surveys showed on Monday.
But the euro sagged, approaching a four-month low on
concerns about spillover from the terms on the Cyprus bailout.
Also adding to safe-have demand for the U.S. currency, North
Korea put its missile units on standby on Friday to attack U.S.
military bases in South Korea and the Pacific, after the United
States flew two nuclear-capable stealth bombers over the Korean
peninsula in a rare show of force.
Asian shares were steady on Monday, but trading remained
subdued with some Asian markets, including Australia and Hong
Kong, and Europe still closed for Easter holidays.
London Metal Exchange markets closed on Friday and will
remain shut on Monday.
PROPERTY SECTOR CURBS
Also hurting sentiment towards metals were fresh curbs on
China's red hot property sector, traders said, although they
were less stringent than feared.
Property speculators typically make up a large percentage of
copper's import demand as they import metal, sell it on the
domestic market and use the proceeds for higher yielding
Beijing, Shanghai and another major city in China's
southwest will implement strict property cooling measures as
part of a central government crackdown on the overheated
property market, state news agency Xinhua has
Reflecting some bargain hunting, the premium for front month
copper on ShFE ended at 110 against the rolling third month,
close to its highest since late October.
Base metals prices at 0701 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg
LME Cu -- -- -- --
SHFE CU FUT JUL3 53740 -1290 -2.34 -6.83
HG COPPER MAY3 -- -- -- --
LME Alum -- -- -- --
SHFE AL FUT JUL3 14590 -55 -0.38 -4.92
LME Zinc -- -- -- --
SHFE ZN FUT JUL3 14660 -885 -5.69 -5.69
LME Nickel -- -- -- --
LME Lead -- -- -- --
SHFE PB FUT 14395.00 -100.00 -0.69 -5.61
LME Tin -- -- -- --
LME/Shanghai arb^ ---
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
^ LME 3-month copper in yuan, including 17 pct VAT, minus SHFE third month
($1 = 6.2143 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Joseph Radford)
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