Copper, nickel fall amid fears of easing stimulus in China

(Adds quotes, details)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, April 23 (Reuters) - Copper and nickel prices fell on Tuesday amid worries China may ease its stimulus measures after its economy showed some signs of recovery.

A top party decision-making meeting in China on Friday affirmed authorities' support for the economy, but also said they would push forward structural de-leveraging and prevent speculation in the property market, suggesting attention may be turning back to debt risks that any further major stimulus measures may create.

The news sent Chinese stocks down in their worst session in nearly four weeks on Monday.

"People are worried that the accommodative policy may face an end," said Shanghai-based copper analyst He Tianyu of metals consultants CRU.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.4 percent to $6,451 a tonne by 0333 GMT, while the most active copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange declined 0.4 percent to 49,170 yuan ($7,325.36) a tonne.

Benchmark nickel dropped as much as 0.9 percent to $12,560 a tonne, its lowest intra-day level since Feb. 19, while Shanghai's most active nickel contract fell 1.2 percent to 98,490 yuan a tonne.


* NICKEL DEFICIT: The global nickel market deficit narrowed to 2,000 tonnes in February from a revised deficit of 3,700 tonnes in January, and was much smaller than a 7,200-tonne deficit in the same month last year, the International Nickel Study Group said on Monday.

* CHINA: China should fine-tune monetary policy in a pre-emptive way based on economic growth and price changes, the official Xinhua News Agency said on Monday, citing a top-level meeting chaired by President Xi Jinping.

* U.S. HOME SALES: U.S. home sales fell more than expected in March as rising demand stoked by declining mortgage rates and slowing house price inflation continued to be frustrated by a lack of properties, especially in the market's lower-priced segment.

* PRICES: London aluminium rose 0.6 percent, while zinc advanced 0.5 percent. Most Shanghai base metals were down, except for aluminium which edged up 0.3 percent.

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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 = 6.7123 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Richard Pullin and Shreejay Sinha)

First Published: 2019-04-23 04:12:59
Updated 2019-04-23 06:02:24

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