METALS-LME copper drifts from near 2-week highs, caution resurfaces
SINGAPORE, March 13 (Reuters) - London copper drifted on Wednesday from almost two-week highs hit in the previous session as a short-covering burst began to fade, while Chinese consumers stayed on the sidelines amid the country's ongoing policy-setting parliamentary meeting.
* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange slipped by 0.24 percent to $7,811.50 a tonne by 0118 GMT, reversing an advance from the previous session when it rose by one percent.
* Copper hit its highest since Feb. 28 on Tuesday at $7,883 a tonne. It has regained two percent from three-month lows of $7,652 a tonne hit at the start of March, although it remains down 1.5 percent year to date.
* The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.32 percent to 56,780 yuan ($9,100) a tonne.
* China's annual parliamentary meeting, the National People's Congress finishes this week.
* U.S. President Barack Obama's charm offensive to end Washington's budget wars hit a bump on Tuesday when Republicans and Democrats in Congress offered up vastly different plans to slash long-term deficits.
* A wary German central bank said on Tuesday it had set aside billions more euros against what it deems risky European Central Bank moves, and criticised France directly for "floundering" in its reform drives.
* BHP Billiton Ltd , the world's largest miner, said it was cooperating with anti-corruption authorities following reports of a U.S.-Australian probe into its sponsorship of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
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* Investors growing wary of recent index highs and mixed signals from global equities overnight capped Asian share prices on Wednesday, while sterling remained vulnerable after weak U.K. data fed fears of a triple-dip recession.
* The yen's selloff paused on Wednesday but expectations of radical policy easing from the Bank of Japan meant further weakness was more than likely, while dour UK manufacturing data consigned sterling to the dog house.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1000 Euro zone Industrial production 1230 U.S. Import/export prices 1230 U.S. Retail sales 1400 U.S. Business inventories 1430 U.S. EIA petroleum status report 1800 U.S. Federal budget
PRICES Base metals prices at 0118 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chgLME Cu 7811.50 -18.50 -0.24 -1.48SHFE CU FUT JUN3 56780 180 +0.32 -1.56HG COPPER MAY3 354.35 -1.10 -0.31 -2.98LME Alum 1978.00 -4.00 -0.20 -4.49SHFE AL FUT JUN3 14855 -05 -0.03 -3.19LME Zinc 1986.00 1.00 +0.05 -3.76SHFE ZN FUT JUN3 15245 -300 -1.93 -1.93LME Nickel 17027.00 -3.00 -0.02 -0.75LME Lead 2227.50 -7.50 -0.34 -4.81SHFE PB FUT 0.00 -14735.00 -100.00 -100.00LME Tin 23875.00 0.00 +0.00 2.03LME/Shanghai arb^ 1
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
($1 = 6.2162 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Himani Sarkar)