December 29, 2016 / 2:23 AM / 9 months ago

METALS-Copper stages late reversal to trade up

* Shanghai copper follows LME contract up

* Gains come late in the session

* Uncertainty over growth persists (Adds comment, updates prices)

By James Regan

SYDNEY, Dec 29 (Reuters) - Shanghai copper futures followed the London contract higher in late Asian trading on Thursday, reversing earlier losses as speculators built up positions ahead of the end of the year.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.27 percent to $5,560 a tonne by 0700 GMT, following modest gains in the previous session.

The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange settled 0.61 percent higher at 45,810 yuan ($6,587) a tonne.

“We saw the market shift sentiment late in the day, with some investors building up their positions before Friday,” a trader in Sydney said.

Copper, found in everything from toilet taps to microchips, is up around 20 percent this year and on track for its largest annual rise since 2010.

But analysts have raised concerns about China’s property market, pointing to moves to limit property speculation in 2017, which could curb construction activity with a consequent impact on the metal.

Copper broke above $6,000 a tonne in November after Donald Trump won the U.S. election, boosting hopes of infrastructure spending and higher consumption. But the uplift was short-lived, with prices receding since.

The United States accounts for only about 8 percent of the roughly 22 million tonnes-per-year global market. China, on the other hand, is the world’s top consumer of the metal.

In other metals trading, ShFE zinc was 2 percent higher. Nickel was down 0.01 percent and tin traded 1 percent higher.

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

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin

$1 = 6.9544 Chinese yuan Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell and Amrutha Gayathri

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