METALS-Copper hovers at lowest in nearly 6 wks on demand worries
* Copper near lowest since May 3 on demand concerns
* Jitters over BOJ, Fed pressure commodities
* Europe inflation data eyed for signs of recovery
(Adds detail, quotes) SINGAPORE, June 12 (Reuters) - Copper hovered at its lowest in nearly six weeks on Wednesday on concerns over slowing demand in top consumer China and the outlook for U.S. economic stimulus. Commodities were broadly lower, extending overnight declines on the absence of fresh steps from the Bank of Japan to quell turbulent domestic bond markets and lingering fears the U.S. Federal Reserve could curb its bond-buying sooner rather than later. The growing risk that China's economic growth will slide further in the second quarter, after weekend data showed unexpected weakness in May trade, also dragged on prices. Chinese volumes of major metals imports, including copper and alumina, fell at double-digit rates. The country is the world's top consumer of copper, making up around 40 percent of global demand. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had risen 0.06 percent, or $4 a tonne, to $7,069 by 0341 GMT after dropping to its lowest since May 3 earlier in the day. The Shanghai Futures Exchange is shut until Thursday for a holiday.
GIVING DIRECTION Metals markets will look to euro zone inflation numbers later this week for signs of recovery, analysts said. "The focus is on inflation numbers out of Europe for signs of price pressure to the top-side," said Jonathan Barratt, chief executive of Sydney-based commodity research firm Barratt's Bulletin. "They should be supportive." Copper's decline is being limited by a dimming outlook for supply. Operations at the world's No. 2 copper mine in Indonesia, run by Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc, have been shut since an accident last month killed 28 workers. India's top copper smelter is preparing to reopen, potentially adding to a short-term squeeze on concentrate supply. The smelter will only operate until the second week of July, however. Global miner BHP has agreed a rise of around 3 percent in the fees it will pay Japanese smelters to process its copper concentrate in the second half, after several mine shutdowns hit global supply, dealing the firm a stronger hand in talks.
Base metals prices at 0341 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg LME Cu 7069.00 4.00 +0.06 -10.87 HG COPPER JUL3 3.19 -0.01 -0.17 -12.68 LME Alum 1893.00 6.00 +0.32 -8.68 LME Zinc 1857.00 5.00 +0.27 -10.72 LME Nickel 14498.00 -37.00 -0.25 -15.02 LME Lead 2112.50 -4.50 -0.21 -9.33 LME Tin 20500.00 -25.00 -0.12 -12.39
(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Joseph Radford)