May 7, 2012 / 2:12 AM / 5 years ago

Shanghai copper drops after French, Greek polls

SHANGHAI (Reuters) - Shanghai copper fell on Monday, after elections in France and Greece stoked concerns on whether struggling euro zone economies could continue to pursue austerity measures crucial to resolving the bloc’s debt crisis.

A worker checks a shipment of copper inside the plant at the copper refinery of Codelco Ventanas in Ventanas city, about 164 km (101 miles) northwest of Santiago, April 16, 2012. REUTERS/Eliseo Fernandez

Disappointing jobs data from the United States also added to global economic concerns, weighing on riskier assets like equities and commodities. <MKTS/GLOB>

The London Metal Exchange is closed for Early May Bank Holiday.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The most-active August copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dropped 1.3 percent to 57,570 yuan ($9,100) a tonne by 0115 GMT.

* Socialist Francois Hollande swept to victory in France’s presidential election on Sunday in a swing to the left at the heart of Europe that could start a pushback against German-led austerity.

* Greek voters punished pro-bailout ruling parties, throwing the future of the bailout scheme for the country into doubt. While vote counting is still going on, the conservative New Democracy and socialist PASOK, who have dominated Greece for decades, might only scrape the 151-seat threshold needed for even the most fragile majority in parliament.

* U.S. employers cut back on hiring in April and more people stopped looking for work, troubling signs for President Barack Obama whose re-election prospects could hinge on his handling of the economy.

* The euro zone economy worsened markedly in April, according to business surveys. Friday’s purchasing managers indexes (PMIs), primarily covering services, suggested a recession across Europe’s currency union could now extend to mid-year and be deeper than previously thought.

* Economists at most major Wall Street firms still see about a one in three chance the Federal Reserve will launch another massive round of monetary stimulus in an effort to prop up the economy, a Reuters poll on Friday showed.

* A top Federal Reserve official painted an improving picture of the U.S. economy on Friday but said lofty unemployment, a festering crisis in Europe, and the year-end expiration of stimulative tax cuts make continued easy monetary policy a must.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click <TOP/MTL>, <TOP/MACRO> or <MET/L>

MARKET NEWS

* Risk assets fell broadly on Monday after elections in Greece and France fuelled questions about whether struggling euro zone economies will continue to pursue austerity measures which are seen by markets as crucial to resolving the bloc’s debt crisis.<MKTS/GLOB>

* Questions about the euro zone’s commitment to austerity also caused the euro to tank in early Asian trade on Monday, breaking below its well-worn range from the past three months.

Reporting by Carrie Ho; Editing by Himani Sarkar

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