METALS-Base metals fall as China warns commodity firms on prices

HANOI, May 24 (Reuters) – Industrial metals prices fell on Monday, after regulators in top consumer China warned domestic commodity companies to maintain “normal market orders” following a strong rally.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.3% at $9,853.50 a tonne, by 0242 GMT, aluminium dropped 2.3% to $2,315 a tonne while zinc declined 1.2% to $2,935.50 a tonne.

In Shanghai, copper was down 1.4% to 71,590 yuan a tonne, aluminium hit a one-month low of 18,000 yuan a tonne, nickel fell to a four-week low at 122,570 yuan a tonne while zinc shed 1.1% to 22,135 yuan a tonne.

Several authorities in China held a talk on Sunday with major domestic commodity companies and urged them not to drive up prices, the country’s National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement.

Prices for copper, coal, steel, and iron ore, of which China is the world’s biggest user, have surged this year on rising demand as lockdowns to curb the COVID-19 pandemic have eased and government stimulus has boosted consumer spending globally.


* Restrictions on electricity supply in the drought-hit Yunnan province in southwest China could lead to the temporary shutdown of almost 1 million tonnes of annual aluminium smelting capacity, consultancy Aladdiny said.

* Zinc treatment charges in China AM-TC50-ZNCON jumped to their highest level in more than five months on Friday as power shortages in Yunnan province left smelters facing production cuts, weakening demand for raw material zinc concentrate.

* The White House said on Friday it had pared down its infrastructure bill to $1.7 trillion from $2.25 trillion, with cuts to investments in broadband and roads and bridges, but Republicans dismissed the changes as insufficient for a deal.

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* Asian shares got off to a cautious start as investors anxiously awaited a key read on U.S. inflation this week for guidance on monetary policy, while Bitcoin tried to steady after being hammered on news of China cracking down on mining and trading of the cryptocurrency.


No major data/events expected.

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