November 17, 2014 / 2:13 AM / in 3 years

METALS-London copper hits two-week high on U.S. growth signals

SYDNEY, Nov 17 (Reuters) - London copper touchest its highest level a fortnight on Monday in the afterglow of improving economic signals from the United States, although news that Japan fell into a surprise recession added a note of caution.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange climbed to its highest since Nov. 4 at $6,734 a tonne, before trading flat at $6704.25 a tonne by 0147 GMT from the previous session when it gained 0.8 percent.

* The most-traded January copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed 1.1 percent to 47,660 yuan($7,781) a tonne, having also reached a two-week high.

* Most U.S. retailers reported strong sales in October, a sign that American consumers were spending with more gusto and could help keep the economy growing at a brisk pace.

* Japan’s economy unexpectedly slipped into recession in the third quarter, setting the stage for Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to delay an unpopular sales tax hike and call a snap election just two years after he took office.

* China’s bank lending tumbled in October and money supply growth cooled, raising fears of a sharper slowdown in the economy and prompting some economists to urge the government to ratchet up stimulus measures, including cutting interest rates.

* Hedge funds and money managers in gold futures and options slashed their long bets for a third straight week to their least bullish in a month as gold prices tumbled, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said on Friday. They also cut their copper shorts.

* China’s refined copper output rose 13.6 percent in October from a year ago to 732,746 tonnes, data from the statistics bureau showed on Saturday.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Japanese stocks skidded on Monday, helping the yen rebound from a fresh seven-year low against the dollar touched after data showed Japan unexpectedly fell into recession in the third quarter as its economy shrank.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

1000 Euro zone Eurostat trade Sep

1330 U.S. New York Fed manufacturing Nov

1415 U.S. Industrial output Oct

PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Three month LME tin (1 US dollar = 6.1255 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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