METALS-London copper edges down on Italy election jitters
SINGAPORE, Feb 26 (Reuters) - London copper inched down on Tuesday as traders shelved riskier assets on jitters over a deadlocked Italian election, while Shanghai copper dropped to a two-month low, with Chinese consumers ramping up only slowly after the Lunar New Year.
* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had slipped 0.19 percent to $7,820 a tonne by 0103 GMT, reversing fragile gains seen from the previous session when copper steadied from a steep sell-off last week.
* LME copper hit its lowest in two months on Friday at $7,796 a tonne, falling into negative territory for the year and erasing gains of nearly 5 percent at one point in early Feb.
* The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.26 percent to 57,150 yuan ($9,200) a tonne on Tuesday.
* A huge protest vote by Italians enraged by economic hardship and political corruption pushed the country towards deadlock after an election on Monday, with voting projections showing no coalition strong enough to form a government.
* The White House escalated a campaign on Monday to convince Americans dire consequences await if government spending cuts go ahead on March 1, warning of a slow down in global trade.
* Boliden AB's zinc metal sales volume in early 2013 was similar to levels seen in the same period of 2012, an executive at the Swedish miner and smelter said in an interview late on Sunday.
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* Asian shares will likely take their lead from overnight plunges in global equities while currency markets remained on edge on Tuesday as the uncertainty over Italy's election results fuels fears of a resurgent euro zone debt crisis.
* The euro crouched near a six-week low against the dollar while the yen kept some distance from multi-month lows on Tuesday. DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1245 U.S. ICSC weekly chain store sales 1400 U.S. CaseShiller housing index 1400 U.S. FHFA home price index 1500 U.S. New home sales 1500 U.S. Consumer confidence 1500 U.S. Richmond Fed composite index 1500 Federal Reserve Chairman Bernanke delivers semi-annual testimony to U.S. Senate Banking Committee 2130 U.S. API weekly crude stocks
PRICES Base metals prices at 0103 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg LME Cu 7820.00 -15.00 -0.19 -1.37 SHFE CU FUT JUN3 57150 -150 -0.26 -0.92 HG COPPER MAR3 353.15 -1.15 -0.32 -3.31 LME Alum 2032.00 -5.00 -0.25 -1.88 SHFE AL FUT MAY3 14815 -40 -0.27 -3.45 LME Zinc 2084.00 -5.00 -0.24 0.99 SHFE ZN FUT MAY3 15550 05 +0.03 0.03 LME Nickel 16705.00 0.00 +0.00 -2.62 LME Lead 2290.00 -3.00 -0.13 -2.14 SHFE PB FUT 0.00 -15165.00 -100.00 -100.00 LME Tin 23135.00 0.00 +0.00 -1.13
LME/Shanghai arb^ -85 ($1 6.2339 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Joseph Radford)