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METALS-Copper pushes towards two-year highs as dollar falls further

(Updates prices)

LONDON, Nov 6 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose for a fifth day on Friday as Joe Biden took a narrow U.S. election lead over President Donald Trump in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and Georgia and the dollar continued to weaken.

Investors are betting that Democrat Biden will win the U.S. presidency but Republicans will control the Senate, blocking government borrowing and potentially paving the way for more central bank stimulus.

Such reasoning sparked a stock market rally and put the dollar on track for its worst week since March, making metals cheaper for buyers outside the United States.

Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 1.2% at $6,932.50 a tonne at 1700 GMT. It is up more than 3% this week and pushing towards October’s 28-month peak of $7,034.

“The copper market looks rather strong from a fundamental point of view,” said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke.

“The only economy that’s not stuck in the coronvarus crisis is China, the biggest copper consumer, and you have many producer countries struggling with rising infections.”

U.S. ELECTION: A handful of undecided states continue to count ballots.

GLOBAL ECONOMY: China’s foreign trade is expected to have grown strongly in October, German industrial output rose less than expected in September and U.S. employers hired the fewest workers for five months in October.

FED: The U.S. Federal Reserve kept its loose monetary policy intact on Thursday and pledged again to do whatever it can to sustain U.S. economic recovery.

PREMIUMS: Chinese Yangshan copper import premiums fell to $48 a tonne, their lowest since May 2019, suggesting lower demand for overseas metal. SMM-CUYP-CN

CHARGES: However, Chilean miner Codelco has agreed with a major Chinese buyer to supply copper at a premium of $88 a tonne in 2021, sources told Reuters.

CHILE: Copper production costs at mines in Chile fell 17% in the first half of 2020, the mining ministry said.

OTHER METALS: LME aluminium was up 0.3% at $1,903 a tonne, zinc rose 0.5% to $2,627.50, nickel was down 1.2% at $15,375, lead gained 0.7% to $1,834 and tin was up 0.6% at $18,350.

All were on track for weekly gains.

Reporting by Peter Hobson Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen Editing by David Goodman

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