METALS-Shanghai base metals fall on China price curb fears

(Updates prices, adds quotes)

HANOI, May 20 (Reuters) – Most base metals fell on Thursday in Shanghai, as authorities in China said they would strengthen management of commodity supply and demand to curb “unreasonable” price increases.

The world’s biggest metals consumer will step up adjustments on the trade and stockpiling of commodities and reinforce inspections on both the spot and futures markets, state media reported after a cabinet meeting.

It will crack down on malicious trading and investigate behaviour that bids up prices, according to the report.

“The meeting pointed out that it is necessary to attach great importance to the adverse effects of rising prices,” said Huatai Futures in a report.

The move came as a jump in commodities prices, including a record-setting copper, fuelled higher inflation in some major economies and threatened the sustainability of a nascent global economic recovery from the pandemic-induced slump.

The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dropped 2.1% to 73,470 yuan ($11,406.08) a tonne at 0602 GMT, while aluminium fell 1.8% to 19,145 yuan a tonne.

ShFE nickel fell 3.7% to 128,300 yuan a tonne, zinc was down 2.5% at 22,475 yuan a tonne and tin declined 2.4% to 194,600 yuan a tonne.

In London, three-month copper rebounded 1.2% to $10,120 a tonne, having hit its two-week low of $9,977.50 a tonne in the previous session, aluminium rose 0.7% to $2,431 a tonne and zinc rose 1.2% to $2,974.50 a tonne.

“Anything under $10,000 (for LME copper) is okay to buy. Under $10,000 I see a scale down number consumer buying orders,” said a Singapore-based trader.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Chinese company Lygend Mining’s nickel and cobalt smelting project in Indonesia became the first high-pressure acid leach project in the country to reach production.

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