METALS-Copper steadies above four-month lows; buyers wary on Cyprus
SINGAPORE, March 19 (Reuters) - London copper steadied on Tuesday above four-month lows hit in the previous session but investors stayed on the sidelies, wary about a controversial bailout plan for Cyprus, while consumers watched for more opportune levels to buy.
* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.20 percent to $7,591 a tonne by 0109 GMT, paring some losses from the previous session when it fell more than two percent to $7,545.75 a tonne, its lowest since Nov. 9.
* The most-traded July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was little changed at 55,250 yuan ($8,900) a tonne, recovering from seven-month lows.
* LME aluminium, lead and zinc also remained mired close to four-month lows.
* The government of Cyprus is hoping to push a divisive tax on bank deposits through parliament on Tuesday in a bid to stave off a default that could reignite the euro zone crisis.
* Euro zone ministers urged Cyprus to let smaller savers escape a levy on bank deposits, before a parliamentary vote on Tuesday that will either secure the island's financial rescue or threaten default.
* U.S. futures regulators, concerned about the frequency with which high-speed traders engage in banned self-dealing, are examining the practice with an eye toward crafting new rules to prevent it, a top regulator said on Monday.
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* Asian shares rebounded on Tuesday from the previous session's steep falls, but investors remained wary over a bailout plan for Cyprus which was set for a parliamentary vote later in the day.
* The euro licked wounds near three-month lows versus the dollar on Tuesday after a plan to tax bank accounts in Cyprus to help pay for the country's bailout stoked worries it could threaten the stability of financial institutions in the euro zone.
DATA/EVENTS 0530 India Repo rate 0900 Italy Industrial output yy WDA Jan 2013 1000 Germany ZEW economic sentiment Mar 2013 1145 U.S. ICSC chain stores yy Weekly 1230 U.S. Build permits: change mm Dec 1230 U.S. House starts mm: change Dec 1230 U.S. Housing starts number mm Feb 2030 U.S. API weekly crude stocks Weekly 2030 U.S. API weekly dist. stocks Weekly 2030 U.S. API weekly gasoline stk Weekly
PRICES Base metals prices at 0109 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chgLME Cu 7591.00 15.00 +0.20 -4.26SHFE CU FUT JUL3 55250 -30 -0.05 -4.21HG COPPER MAY3 343.50 0.70 +0.20 -5.95LME Alum 1938.00 2.00 +0.10 -6.42SHFE AL FUT JUN3 14705 10 +0.07 -4.17LME Zinc 1928.00 9.00 +0.47 -6.57SHFE ZN FUT JUN3 14900 -645 -4.15 -4.15LME Nickel 16655.00 50.00 +0.30 -2.91LME Lead 2180.00 -5.00 -0.23 -6.84SHFE PB FUT 14410.00 -80.00 -0.55 -5.51LME Tin 23100.00 0.00 +0.00 -1.28LME/Shanghai arb^ -146
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
($1 = 6.2158 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin)