METALS-Copper slips on growth concerns

LONDON, June 1 (Reuters) - Copper fell on Wednesday, on
signs of slowing factory activity in China and Europe, and
extended losses after below-consensus jobs and manufacturing
data from the United States reinforced worries about demand.
    Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange finished at
$9,102 from a close of $9,220 a tonne on Tuesday, when the metal
used in power and construction hit $9,278.50 a tonne, its
highest in four weeks.
    "Lower European, Chinese and U.S. data doesn't help
sentiment," said VTB Capital analyst Andrey Kryuchenkov.
    "There is some more downside because the data has been
persistently softer and there is no support from other factors
such as premiums or Chinese buying," Kryuchenkov said,
forecasting that in the medium term copper would trade between
$9,000 and $9,300 a tonne.
    Chinese factories expanded in May at their lowest pace in at
least nine months, two surveys showed on Wednesday, reinforcing
evidence that the economy is slowing under the weight of
government credit curbs and power shortages.
    China is the world's top consumer of base metals.
    "The fact that we're a little bit weaker is a reflection of
the weaker (manufacturing figures) which have ignited people's
concerns about a slowdown in activity in China," said analyst
Gayle Berry of Barclays Capital.
    "We're moving from what was a period of very fast expansion
in 2010 as economies went into recovery, into a more mature
phase where you'd expect to see rates of expansion slow. You
need... perspective when looking at these numbers," added Berry.
    Fresh signs of decline among factories in the euro zone's
debt-laden periphery tugged sharply on manufacturing growth in
the region in May and weighed on investor confidence.
    U.S. data depressed market sentiment further. 
    Data showed U.S. private employers added only 38,000 jobs in
May, below expectations and the lowest level since September
    The figures do not bode well for Friday's non-farm payrolls
data for the United States, analysts said.
    The pace of growth in the U.S. manufacturing sector also
tumbled in May, slackening more than expected to its slowest
since September 2009.
    Traders expected muted metals futures trading in Europe this
week with many nations off on holiday on Thursday.
    News of the magnitude 6.3 earthquake in major producer Chile
had little immediate impact on copper prices.

    Stocks of copper in LME warehouses rose 3,075 tonnes to
above 470,000 tonnes for the first time in a year, highlighting
lack of demand in what is usually a peak season. 
    News that China will raise power prices for some consumers
has helped support aluminium prices this week.
    Energy accounts for about 35 percent on average of aluminium
smelting costs and China is the world's largest producer of the
metal used widely in the power, construction and packaging
    Three-month aluminium, untraded in rings, was bid at $2,667
from $2,677 on Tuesday. Earlier on Wednesday it saw $2,684.75 a
tonne, its highest since May 5.
    Tin closed at $27,595 from $27,940 while zinc, used in
galvanising steel, ended at $2,257 from $2,266 on Tuesday's
    Battery material lead finished at $2,500 from $2,521 and
nickel closed at $23,250 from $23,590.
    For a story on Outokumpu selling its stake in miner
Talvivaara click:
    Metal Prices at 1610 GMT
Comex copper in cents/lb, LME prices in $/T and SHFE prices in
 Metal            Last      Change  Percent Move   End 2010
  Ytd Percent
 COMEX Cu       411.70       -6.05     -1.45     444.70     -7.42
 LME Alum      2667.00      -10.00     -0.37    2470.00      7.98
 LME Cu        9101.50     -118.50     -1.29    9600.00     -5.19
 LME Lead      2500.00       -5.00     -0.20    2550.00     -1.96
 LME Nickel   23200.00     -390.00     -1.65   24750.00     -6.26
 LME Tin      27590.00     -350.00     -1.25   26900.00      2.57
 LME Zinc      2257.00       -9.00     -0.40    2454.00     -8.03
 SHFE Alu     16850.00        5.00     +0.03   16840.00      0.06
 SHFE Cu*     68310.00     -260.00     -0.38   71850.00     -4.93
 SHFE Zin     17240.00     -100.00     -0.58   19475.00    -11.48
** Benchmark month for COMEX copper
* 3rd contract month for SHFE AL, CU and ZN
SHFE ZN began trading on 26/3/07