* Firmer dollar weighs on LME metals complex
* Supply concerns underpin copper
* Coming Up: US weekly jobless claims at 1330 GMT
(Adds comment, detail, updates prices)
By Melanie Burton
MELBOURNE, Feb 23 London copper prices slipped
on Thursday, as concerns about fresh regulations that could
dampen China's property boom steepened a correction that began
with improving prospects for a U.S. interest rate hike in March.
China's Vice Housing Minister Lu Kehua told reporters on
Thursday that preparatory work was now being done for a
nationwide property tax, but did not provide further details.
Further property taxes could cool the construction market, a
main demand driver for metals.
Lu's comments came as China also announced plans for greater
oversight of its asset management industry, souring sentiment in
the stock market.
"It's been around for the past few days. All these things
add up and with regulators at least talking about a property
tax, at some point it will come in," said a metals broker in
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had
slipped 0.9 percent to $5,987 a tonne by 0813 GMT, after easing
0.3 percent on Wednesday. Prices earlier fell to $5,960.50 a
tonne, the lowest since Feb. 20.
Prices have been bouncing around the $5,960-$6,200 a tonne
range since the middle of February, touching a 20-month top of
$6,204 on Feb. 13 after a strike was announced at Chile's
Escondida mine, the world's biggest copper producer.
Shanghai Futures Exchange copper eased 1 percent to
48,390 yuan ($7,035) a tonne.
Other LME metals, zinc and nickel fell more
than 1 percent.
The dollar moved up from overnight lows and steadied on
Thursday on the possibility of a U.S. interest rate hike next
month. A stronger dollar erodes purchasing power for those
paying for commodities with other currencies.
Many Federal Reserve policymakers said it may be
appropriate to raise interest rates again "fairly soon" should
jobs and inflation data come in line with expectations,
according to policy meeting minutes released on Wednesday.
Copper has been underpinned by concerns over supply. BHP
Billiton's decision this week to give up its
legal right to replace striking workers at Escondida is aimed at
sacrificing some output to undermine the union's position,
In news, miner and trader Glencore reported an 18
percent increase in core profits for 2016 on Thursday and said
the company had never been so well positioned, although an
ill-timed coal hedge had eaten into energy profits.
The miner expects copper production in 2017 to be around
1.355 million tonnes, down about 5 percent from last year.
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 = 6.8782 Chinese yuan renminbi)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Tom Hogue and