MANILA, May 2 (Reuters) - London copper futures recovered
from their weakest level in nearly a month on Wednesday after a
private survey showed growth in China's manufacturing sector
unexpectedly picked up in April, brightening the demand outlook
in the top user of the metal.
    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was
up 1.2 percent at $6,829 per tonne by 0213 GMT, after hitting a
low of $6,710 on Tuesday, its weakest since April 4. 
    The Caixin/Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' index
(PMI) climbed to 51.1 in April from a four-month low of 51.0 in
March, and topped economists' forecast for a modest slowdown to
    But the same survey showed a sub-index on export orders
shrinking for the first time since November 2016. An official
PMI survey on Monday also showed slower shipment orders last
    The data "reflects a deteriorating export market and 
strengthened domestic consumption" that may cancel each other
out and keep gross domestic product growing at 6.5 percent this
year as Beijing had forecast, said Helen Lau, analyst at
Argonaut Securities.
    "For the rest of the year, as the export situation may
deteriorate, fiscal stimulus and further monetary easing will 
likely take place so as to protect the 6.5 percent growth
target, which in turn will underpin growth for commodity
demand," Lau said in a note.
    SHANGHAI COPPER: The most-traded June copper contract on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange slid 1.2 percent to 50,990
yuan ($8,022) a tonne, tracking losses in London in the prior
session as Chinese markets reopened after a two-day public
    FEDERAL RESERVE: Investors are also awaiting the statement
from the U.S. Federal Reserve when its two-day policy meeting
concludes later on Wednesday. While the Fed is widely expected
to keep the benchmark interest rate on hold, it looks certain to
raise it again next month, given signs of possible acceleration
in the U.S. economy.
    U.S. DATA: Investors are also focused on Friday's employment
report for April for further indications of the strength of the
U.S. economy and inflation pressures. Data on Tuesday showed
U.S. factory activity slowed for a second straight month in
    U.S. RESTRICTIONS: U.S. officials are pushing for quotas and
"other restrictions" on steel and aluminium imports, a top trade
official said after the White House announced a month-long
extension of tariff exemptions for Canada, Mexico and the
European Union.
    RUSAL: The U.S. Treasury gave investors an additional month
to divest or transfer their holdings in sanctions targets major
aluminium producer United Company Rusal Plc, En+ Group
Plc and GAZ Group.
    ALUMINIUM: LME aluminium eased 0.4 percent to
$2,250.50 a tonne while its Shanghai counterpart was
off 0.2 percent at 14,450 yuan.
    OTHER METALS: LME nickel rose 1.8 percent to $13,900
a tonne and zinc climbed 1.2 percent to $3,089.50. In
Shanghai, nickel eased 0.4 percent to 103,890 yuan per
tonne and zinc dropped 0.5 percent to 23,735 yuan.
    MARKETS: The dollar held near a four-month high against a
basket of major currencies, buoyed by the outlook for a strong
U.S. economy and rising yields amid signs of slowdown elsewhere,
especially in Europe. Asian shares were steady.
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