* Comex copper speculators cut long position in latest week
* Coming Up: U.S. Factory orders Jan at 1500 GMT
(Adds detail, updates prices)
By Melanie Burton
MELBOURNE, March 6 London copper edged down on
Monday amid risk-off sentiment in broader markets, but supported
by protracted disruptions at the world's two biggest copper
Asian shares were on the defensive on Monday as investors
weighed the near-certain prospect of an interest rate hike in
the United States this month against news of slower growth in
China this year.
Risk appetite also took a hit on rising geo-political
tensions in East Asia, as North Korea fired four ballistic
missiles early in the day, while a spat between China and South
Korea over missile defence deepened.
Indonesia will not back down from new rules requiring
Freeport-McMoran to divest a majority stake in its local
unit, its Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Ignasius Jonan
said late last week in a dispute over rights to the world's
second-biggest copper mine that has frozen exports.
Meanwhile, Chile expects economic activity growth to be hit
by around one percentage point in February because of a strike
at world no.1 copper mine Escondida, as copper output slides 12
"We expect copper to move into a deficit this year, the key
drivers being a dramatically slowing rate of mine supply growth
... and a stabilizing demand picture," Citi said in a report.
"We do think we can see price peaks of close to $7,000 a tonne
London copper was down 0.3 percent at $5,900 a tonne
by 0703 GMT, after closing slightly softer in the previous
Prices have been trading around $5,800-$6,200 a tonne for
most of the last month, having jumped to a 20-month top at
$6,204 on Feb. 13 after disruptions worsened at Escondida.
Shanghai Futures Exchange copper slipped by 0.5
percent to 47,890 yuan ($6,945) a tonne.
The dollar declined from recent strength on profit taking,
after the Federal Reserve's long-stalled 'liftoff' of interest
rates looked to finally get airborne this year as policymakers
from Chair Janet Yellen on Friday to regional leaders across the
United States signalled that the era of easy money is drawing to
China has cut its growth target this year as the world's
second-largest economy pushes through painful reforms to address
a rapid build-up in debt, and erects a "firewall" against
The report dragged Shanghai zinc, aluminium
and lead down more than 2 percent.
Elsewhere, the biggest conference for explorers and
developers kicked off in Canada, with some industry experts
predicting that recovering mineral and metal prices will further
improve the fortunes of small miners.
Speculators cut their bullish position in Comex copper
futures and options by 7,851 lots to 70,660 lots, U.S. Commodity
Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.
Three month LME copper
Most active ShFE copper
Three month LME aluminium
Most active ShFE aluminium
Three month LME zinc
Most active ShFE zinc
Three month LME lead
Most active ShFE lead
Three month LME nickel
Most active ShFE nickel
Three month LME tin
Most active ShFE tin
($1 = 6.8954 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin and