METALS-Copper steady, China offsets Fed tapering concerns
* Emerging markets hit by tapering fears, Syrian escalation
* China's economy on track for 7.5 pct growth - stats bureau
LONDON, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Copper was little changed on Tuesday as signals of stabilisation in top consumer China offset worries over the potential tapering of the U.S. stimulus program, while a potential western strike on Syria made investor bets more cautious. The economy of the world's top metals consumer is showing clear signs of stabilisation, helped by policy support and some improvement in global demand, and is on track to meet the official 2013 growth target of 7.5 percent, the government said. In the wider markets however, emerging markets were hit hard as doubts over the Syrian situation added to pressure from investors' positioning for an end to the availability of cheap dollars, which has helped support many developing nations. Western powers told the Syrian opposition to expect a strike against President Bashar al-Assad's forces within days, and his enemies vowed to punish a poison gas attack that Washington called a "moral obscenity". "Positive signals from China are supportive for copper and there is still no guarantee that the U.S. quantitative easing will be reduced from September," VTB Capital analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov said. Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.2 percent to $7,341.50 a tonne by 1430 GMT. London markets were closed on Monday for a bank holiday.
REBOUND FADES Copper fell last week for the first week in four as a rebound faded following an emerging market selloff. Copper has risen about 11 percent from a three-year trough touched in late June but is still down around 7 percent this year. In the United States, recent data on durable goods, single family home sales and business spending on capital goods have been disappointing, muddling the outlook for when the Federal Reserve may curb its quantitative easing programme. Last week, however, investors also were treated to upbeat manufacturing numbers from the United States and more importantly China, which accounts for about 40 percent of global copper demand.
"Chinese demand has recovered, in part by restocking, (but) end-demand has also improved," Barclays Capital said in a note. "Our economists still expect (Chinese) growth (to be) weaker by year-end. Although prices could run further to the upside in the short term, we favour selling into this strength to position for lower prices later in the year," it added.
Metal Prices at 1437 GMT Comex copper in cents/lb, LME prices in $/T and SHFE prices in yuan/T
Metal Last Change Pct Move End 2012 Ytd Pct
LME Alum 1882.00 -11.00 -0.58 2073.00 -9.21 LME Cu 7325.50 -34.50 -0.47 7931.00 -7.63 LME Lead 2230.25 20.25 +0.92 2330.00 -4.28 LME Nickel 14445.00 -80.00 -0.55 17060.00 -15.33 LME Tin 21650.00 -100.00 -0.46 23400.00 -7.48 LME Zinc 1980.00 -6.50 -0.33 2080.00 -4.81 SHFE Alu 14455.00 -25.00 -0.17 15435.00 -6.35 SHFE Cu* 52940.00 -440.00 -0.82 57690.00 -8.23 SHFE Zin 15090.00 -85.00 -0.56 15625.00 -3.42 ** Benchmark month for COMEX copper * 3rd contract month for SHFE AL, CU and ZN
SHFE ZN began trading on 26/3/07