January 9, 2018 / 2:21 AM / 15 days ago

METALS-LME copper gains as U.S. dollar's rise slows

SYDNEY, Jan 9 (Reuters) - London copper inched up in early trade on Tuesday as an advancing U.S. dollar lost steam, while Shanghai copper recovered from a drop in the previous session to trade marginally higher.

London copper hit a two-week low overnight, weighed down by a stronger dollar, which encouraged sellers in the benchmark U.S. dollar-denominated contract.

“We don’t expect to see that same level of selling today on the currency,” said a commodities trader in Perth.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.09 percent at $7,132 a tonne by 0134 GMT, after closing almost unchanged in the previous session. Prices topped out at $7,312.50 a tonne on Dec. 28, the highest since January 2014.

* The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was 0.33 percent higher at 54,780 yuan ($8,423.80) a tonne. It dropped 0.9 percent on Monday.

* CHINA RESTRICTS: As China tightens restrictions on imports of foreign waste, Chinese metal recyclers and even smelters like Jiangxi Copper Co are increasingly looking to use Southeast Asian countries as an alternative location for the processing of copper scrap.

QATAR: An affiliate of Qatari conglomerate Aamal Co plans to build three factories to produce copper wires, aluminium bars and drums for cables, projects that could make the country more self-reliant in the face of an embargo by other Arab states.

* ZINC BANG: Zinc has started the new year with a bang, hitting a fresh 10-year high of $3,380 per tonne in the first week of trading on the London Metal Exchange.

* SLOW DOLLAR ADVANCE: The euro languished on Tuesday after slipping from last week’s high as investors were cautious after a months-long rally, while the dollar firmed against the yen though a lack of catalysts tempered its momentum.

* OTHER METALS: ShFE nickel was up more than 1 percent, while LME nickel was 0.36 percent firmer at $12,575. ShFE zinc was up just over 1 percent. LME zinc was flat at $3,386.50, after having hit its highest since 2007 at $3,390 overnight. Concerns over dwindling stockpiles MZN-STOCKS and a market deficit were driving the gains.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares edged higher on Tuesday, approaching record highs after the S&P 500 extended its winning streak, while the dollar steadied against its major counterparts.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1000 Euro Zone Unemployment Rate Nov

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

ARBS ($1 = 6.5030 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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