4 Min Read
* Copper slides to lowest since early January
* Korea tensions, lack of Trump spending plans weigh
* LME-SHFE arb: tmsnrt.rs/2oQ5nm2 (Updates with closing prices)
By Jan Harvey
LONDON, April 12 (Reuters) - Copper slid to three-month lows on Wednesday as a tentative recovery in broader financial markets lost steam, with geopolitical tensions and fading hopes of a boost to U.S. demand putting pressure on prices.
The metal slipped this week along with other cyclical assets as concerns over North Korea and the Middle East ratcheted up. While equities initially recovered some losses on Wednesday, they quickly lost momentum, while copper continued to languish.
"Copper had such a strong ride after the U.S. elections last year, due to the specific story about infrastructure and defence spending in the U.S., so it's possible for risk sentiment to stabilise without it really helping copper," Danske Bank analyst Jens Pedersen said.
"Base metals have performed rather poorly, owing to risk aversion, and perhaps some impatience over the lack of details around Trump's plans for infrastructure," he said.
Copper, widely used in construction, rallied to its highest since mid-2015 in the months following Donald Trump's U.S. presidential election win in November on the back of his pledge to boost infrastructure spending.
* LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper closed down 2.1 percent at $5,628 a tonne. Earlier in the session, it slumped to $5,615, its lowest since early January.
* CHINA: Chinese President Xi Jinping called for a peaceful resolution of rising tensions on the Korean peninsula in a telephone conversation with Trump, as a U.S. aircraft carrier strike group steamed towards the region.
* FINANCIAL MARKETS: A break in alarming political news lifted European stocks, though the mood remained skittish, tarnishing an otherwise brightening outlook for global economic growth.
* FREEPORT: Losses amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars appear to be pushing the Indonesian government and mining giant Freeport McMoRan to resolve a row that has crippled operations at Grasberg, the world's richest copper mine, for three months.
* RIO TINTO: Diversified miner Rio Tinto Plc restated on Wednesday its decision to continue discussions over the future of its stake in the Grasberg mine.
* BHP BILLITON: Anglo-Australian miner BHP Billiton dismissed a wide-ranging proposal by shareholder Elliott Advisors to overhaul its corporate strategy and sell off oil interests, saying the measures would not benefit the company.
* TECHNICALS: LME copper may retest support at $5,724 per tonne, with a good chance of breaking below this level and falling more to the next support at $5,689.
* ALUMINIUM STOCKS: Aluminium stocks held in LME-registered warehouses MAL-STOCKS fell 13,575 tonnes on Tuesday to their lowest since late 2008, exchange data showed. LME aluminium closed down 1.2 percent at $1,898 a tonne.
* OTHER METALS: LME nickel ended the day down 1.1 percent at $9,735 a tonne, while tin was down 3 percent at $19,405. Zinc ended 1.4 percent higher at $2,605 and lead finished the day down 0.3 percent at $2,242.
Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne; Editing by David Evans and Jane Merriman