METALS-Copper slips on caution ahead of Fed minutes
SINGAPORE, Aug 21 (Reuters) - London copper drifted lower on Wednesday on uncertainty over the impact a tapering of U.S. monetary stimulus would have on global capital markets, ahead of the release of minutes from the latest U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later in the session.
* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged down by 0.14 percent to $7,309.75 a tonne by 0127 GMT, extending/reversing losses from the previous session.
* Copper prices hit their highest in more than ten weeks on Friday at $7,420 a tonne as prices recover from three-year lows at $6,602 plumbed in late June. Prices are still down by more than 7 percent so far this year.
* The most-traded December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange inched up 0.23 percent to 52,460 yuan ($8,600) a tonne.
* Asia's economic miracle looks increasingly vulnerable to the end of a decidedly earthly phenomenon - five years of ultra-cheap financing sparked by the U.S. monetary policy dubbed "quantitative easing".
* The London Metal Exchange has offered the job of chief executive to Martin Pratt, two sources familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, picking a veteran broker to lead the bourse.
* The global nickel market was in surplus by 74,200 tonnes in the first six months of the year, a monthly bulletin from the Lisbon-based International Nickel Study Group (INSG) showed on Tuesday.
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* Asian markets were getting a much-needed reprieve on Wednesday as U.S. borrowing costs eased and investors everywhere hunkered down for minutes of the Federal Reserve's July policy meeting -- though some feared they might only sow more confusion.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1400 U.S. Existing home sales 1800 Federal Open Market Committee releases minutes from its July 30-31 meeting
PRICES Base metals prices at 0127 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg LME Cu 7309.75 -10.25 -0.14 -7.81 SHFE CU FUT DEC3 52460 120 +0.23 -9.05 HG COPPER SEP3 3.33 -0.01 -0.24 -99.09 LME Alum 1916.00 1.50 +0.08 -7.48 SHFE AL FUT NOV3 14435 -10 -0.07 -5.93 LME Zinc 1977.50 -11.50 -0.58 -4.17 SHFE ZN FUT DEC3 15100 -445 -2.86 -2.86 LME Nickel 14725.00 -35.00 -0.24 -14.16 LME Lead 2240.00 -7.50 -0.33 -4.27 SHFE PB FUT 14800.00 15.00 +0.10 -2.95 LME Tin 21995.00 0.00 +0.00 -6.00 LME/Shanghai arb^ -221
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months ($1 = 6.1246 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin)