METALS-Copper supported by progress on U.S. fiscal deal
* Tin best 2012 performer so far, up more than 22 pct year to date
* Tin faces short term price risks after strong run up -RBC
* Coming Up; Germany Ifo business climate Dec at 0900 GMT
(Adds detail updates prices) SINGAPORE, Dec 19 (Reuters) - London copper was steady on Wednesday as lawmakers in the United States closed in on a deal to avert expiring tax cuts and spending increases that could tip the world's top economy back into recession. Republicans tried to squeeze more concessions from the White House on taxes on Tuesday in political maneuvering for a deal that would prevent the U.S. economy from going over the "fiscal cliff" in the new year. "There has been some progress in talks and it seems commodity markets have been supported by that, as well as a combination of the recent improvement in manufacturing data in China and the United States," said commodity analyst Stefan Graber of Credit Suisse in Singapore. "With market participants closing their books ahead of year end we wouldn't really expect too big a change, especially in the industrial metals space, where it seems there is a consolidation going on from the recent shift higher," he added. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange traded at $8,027 a tonne by 0711 GMT, up 0.04 percent from the previous session when it finished with small losses at $8,024 a tonne. On Wednesday, a stronger euro was also lending support to metals. A weaker dollar makes commodities priced in the greenback cheaper for holders of other currencies. The most-traded March copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slipped 0.40 percent to close at 57,650 yuan ($9,300) a tonne. Since copper rallied almost 8 percent from mid-November to a near two-month high on Dec. 12, momentum has begun to fade, with traders cutting risk and squaring positions ahead of year-end. Still, the metal has held on to the lion's share of gains and is up more than 5 percent for the year. "The German Ifo Index is due today and further signs of economic stabilization could support cyclical commodities in the days ahead," said Credit Suisse in a note.
MARKETS NEWS Tin prices have hit successive 8-month highs for six of the last eight sessions, boosted by longer term technical buying and short-covering, RBC Capital said in a note. Tin is the top performer of the base metals this year, up 22 percent, and streaking ahead of the second best performer, lead, with gains of almost 14 percent. Tin prices are also expected to perform strongly in 2013 as demand eclipses supply. "While the longer-term prospects for tin continue to look positive in terms of price, the short-term risk would appear to have more downside than upside potential, given the recent run," RBC said.
Base metals prices at 0711 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg LME Cu 8027.00 3.00 +0.04 5.62 SHFE CU FUT MAR3 57650 -230 -0.40 4.14 HG COPPER MAR3 365.80 0.45 +0.12 6.46 LME Alum 2102.75 4.75 +0.23 4.10 SHFE AL FUT MAR3 15290 -10 -0.07 -3.50 LME Zinc 2080.50 -9.50 -0.45 12.76 SHFE ZN FUT MAR3 15460 -85 -0.55 4.49 LME Nickel 17730.00 -70.00 -0.39 -5.24 LME Lead 2316.25 -2.75 -0.12 13.82 SHFE PB FUT 15310.00 -30.00 -0.20 0.16 LME Tin 23550.00 25.00 +0.11 22.66 LME/Shanghai arb^ 851
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
($1=6.2324 Chinese yuan)
($1 = 6.2324 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Clarence Fernandez and Ed Davies)