METALS-Shanghai copper hits one-week high, China recovery eyed
* Shanghai copper rises to one-week high of 57,280 yuan/T
* Beijing reiterates control on property market
* Coming up: US ICSC chain stores, weekly; 1245 GMT
SINGAPORE, Dec 26 (Reuters) - Shanghai copper rose to a one-week high on Wednesday on a brighter outlook for demand in China, although concerns about a potential fiscal crisis in the United States kept gains in check. Though Beijing has insisted it will keep tight control over the property sector, local authorities hoping to boost land sales have supported the market with steps ranging from relaxing home buying limits and credit conditions to offering housing subsidies. An improving property sector, a pillar of China's economic growth, will boost demand for copper and other base metals in the country, the world's top consumer of many raw materials. "The market is focusing on the recovery of China's economy," said Liu Xu, an analyst at China International Futures in the southern city of Shenzhen. "The market will still warm up even if the government maintains its current policy pressure, and we don't expect more severe crackdown measures." China's housing ministry reiterated its stance of extending control over the property market in 2013 to curb speculative buying, after data showed a pickup in housing sales as well as higher prices in recent months. The most-traded April copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was little changed at 57,150 yuan ($9,200) a tonne by 0212 GMT, easing from a one-week high of 57,280 yuan hit earlier in the day. The London Metal Exchange remained closed on Wednesday for Christmas holidays.
Investors will watch the progress in the talks in Washington on how to avert the "fiscal cliff", $600 billion worth of tax hikes and spending cuts to take effect in the new year, after the Christmas break for the lawmakers and President Barack Obama. The next session of the Senate is set for Thursday, and the House of Representatives could also be summoned that day. In industry news, U.S. regulators have delayed by two months a ruling on BlackRock Inc's plan to launch a copper exchange-traded fund backed by physical metal, a week after giving the go-ahead to a similar product proposed by JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Base metals prices at 0212 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg SHFE CU FUT APR3 57150 30 +0.05 3.23 SHFE AL FUT MAR3 15305 -10 -0.07 -3.41 SHFE ZN FUT MAR3 15510 -15 -0.10 4.83 SHFE PB FUT 15255.00 -10.00 -0.07 -0.20
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
($1 = 6.2335 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Rujun Shen; Editing by Joseph Radford)