April 12, 2018 / 3:32 AM / a year ago

METALS-London zinc skids to 4-mth low on slow pick-up in steel demand

    MELBOURNE, April 12 (Reuters) - London zinc fell to a
four-month low on Thursday, tracking the prices of other steel
materials as demand from construction got off to a slow start in
the usually strong second quarter. 
    * London Metal Exchange zinc slid 2.7 percent to
$3,150 a tonne by 0244 GMT, having earlier touched a low of
$3,133.50, its weakest since Dec. 12. Prices crashed through
support at the 200-day moving average of $3,172 a tonne,
triggering a rush in sales from funds, a trader said. 
    * LME copper fell 0.8 percent to $6,893 a tonne
reflecting a sour tone across metals amid broad risk-off
sentiment in the markets. Shanghai Futures Exchange copper
 fell 1 percent to 50,610 yuan ($8,063.40) a tonne. 
    * STEEL DEMAND: Iron ore futures in China have been falling,
with investors worried about slipping steel margins this year
and leaner demand in the world's top consumer. A seasonal pickup
in China's construction activity that usually comes in April and
May has been off to a slow start, traders said. 
    * ZINC: Longer term, zinc prices are expected to remain
buoyant after hitting their highest in a decade because of years
of underinvestment, the founder and chairman of Vedanta
Resources said on Wednesday. 
    * CHINA POLLUTION: The Chinese city of Xuzhou is carrying
out environmental inspections targeting air pollution emissions
at industrial plants, construction sites and in the transport
sector that are expected to last for as long as six months. 
    * RUSAL: International financial groups took action on
Wednesday to distance themselves from the shares, bonds and
metal of Russian aluminium giant Rusal after the
United States imposed sanctions on the company. ]
    * CME Group has also revoked approved status for
registration of Russian firm Rusal's metal for
delivery against its aluminium futures contracts, according to a
notice on its website. 
    * GLENCORE: Trader Glencore, a Rusal shareholder
and customer, will declare force majeure on some aluminium
supply, a source familiar with the matter said.
     * For metals news, click or     
    * Asian stocks came under pressure on Thursday as the threat
of imminent U.S. military action in Syria rattled investors and
sent oil prices to their highest levels since late 2014 on
concerns about supply. 
    0900  Euro zone Industrial production Feb
    1230  U.S. Export prices Mar
    1230  U.S. Import prices  Mar
    1230  U.S. Weekly jobless claims    
 BASE METALS PRICES              0227 GMT           
 Three month LME copper                       6887.5
 Most active ShFE copper                       50550
 Three month LME aluminium                    2236.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                    14265
 Three month LME zinc                         3153.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                         23630
 Three month LME lead                           2365
 Most active ShFE lead                         18550
 Three month LME nickel                        13695
 Most active ShFE nickel                      101340
 Three month LME tin                           20970
 Most active ShFE tin                         143020
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                              
 LME/ShFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc3      321.08
 LME/ShFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc3    -2026.45
 LME/ShFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc3      112.52
 LME/ShFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc3      282.01
 LME/ShFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc3     -157.35
    ($1 = 6.2765 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Tom Hogue)
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