METALS-Base metals decline as China’s regulatory curbs spook traders | Reuters

Prices of base metals dropped on Monday after regulators in top consumer China warned domestic commodity companies to maintain “normal market orders” following a recent record rally.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.1% at $9,870 a tonne by 0708 GMT, aluminium dropped 1.5% to $2,335 a tonne while zinc declined 1.5% to $2,927 a tonne.

In Shanghai, copper closed down 1.4% to 71,640 yuan ($11,136.50) a tonne, aluminium hit a one-month low of 17,935 yuan a tonne, nickel fell to a four-week low at 122,570 yuan a tonne while zinc shed 1.1% to 22,155 yuan a tonne.

Several authorities in China held a talk on Sunday with major domestic commodity companies and urged them not to drive up prices, the country’s National Development and Reform Commission said in a statement.

“The rally in copper and iron ore appears to have stalled as investors become increasingly concerned about regulatory constraints and easing stimulus measures,” said ANZ analysts in a note.

Prices for copper hit record highs earlier this month, along with a rally in other commodities, on rising demand as lockdowns to curb the COVID-19 pandemic have eased and government stimulus has boosted consumer spending globally. FUNDAMENTALS

* Restrictions on electricity supply in the drought-hit Yunnan province in southwest China could lead to the temporary shutdown of almost 1 million tonnes of annual aluminium smelting capacity, consultancy Aladdiny said.

* Zinc treatment charges in China AM-TC50-ZNCON jumped to their highest level in more than five months on Friday as power shortages in Yunnan province left smelters facing production cuts.

* The White House said on Friday it had pared down its infrastructure bill to $1.7 trillion from $2.25 trillion, but Republicans dismissed the changes as insufficient for a deal.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or $1 = 6.4329 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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