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Base metals fall as China eyes commodities price control

Industrial metals prices fell on Monday after China’s premier said the country will strengthen control of commodities prices that have hurt businesses.

The most-traded June nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 3.3% to 122,600 yuan ($18,698.43) a tonne by 0305 GMT, while three-month nickel on the London Metal Exchange declined 2.5% to $16,220 a tonne.

LME copper fell 1.1% to $8,829.50 a tonne, zinc was down 1.4% at $2,791 a tonne, while tin decreased 1.1% to $25,470 a tonne.

In Shanghai, copper declined 1.7% to 65,760 yuan a tonne, zinc fell 2.1% to 21,565 yuan a tonne, while tin dropped 2.7% to 177,780 yuan a tonne.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang stressed the need to strengthen market regulation of raw materials to ease the cost pressure of enterprises amid rising global commodities prices, China’s official Xinhua news agency reported on Saturday.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Yangshan copper premium fell to $51 a tonne, its lowest since Nov. 20, while inventories in LME and ShFE warehouses remained elevated.

* Miners will think twice before splashing out on major new projects even as copper prices have soared to decade-long highs this year, Chile’s Antofagasta chief executive told Reuters.

* Copper long speculators are at risk of a price pull-back due to a delayed pick up in Chinese demand in its traditionally strong consumption season in the second quarter.

MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares faltered as investors wait to see if U.S. earnings can justify sky-high valuations, while bond markets could be tested by what should be very strong readings for U.S. inflation and retail sales this week.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0900 EU Retail Sales MM, YY Feb

1200 India CPI Inflation YY March

1200 India Industrial Output YY Feb
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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