February 27, 2018 / 4:31 AM / a year ago

METALS-London copper holds ground ahead of Powell testimony

 (Adds Shanghai closing prices, updates London prices)
    MELBOURNE/BEIJING, Feb 27 (Reuters) - London copper prices
inched up on Tuesday, lifted in light trade by a weaker dollar
ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's
highly-anticipated first congressional testimony later in the
    Powell's debut appearance is seen as critical for the
financial markets, with many investors nervous about the Fed's
policy normalisation following years of stimulus.
    London copper has held above the $7,000-a-tonne mark since
Feb. 14 and edged up on Monday on the back of strong import data
from top metals consumer China.
    "The positive sentiment in the market looks likely to
remain. However, investors will now be focused on economic data,
with Chinese PMIs on Wednesday likely to set the tone for the
remainder of the week," ANZ wrote in a note.
    China's official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index
(PMI) survey will be published on Wednesday, along with a
similar official survey covering the services sector.

    * LONDON COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper edged
up 0.1 percent to $7,117.50 a tonne by 0736 GMT, having finished
up 0.2 percent in the previous session, and was trading in a
tight range from $7,110 to $7,143 a tonne. 
    * SHANGHAI COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper
closed down 0.1 percent at 53,370 yuan ($8,461.36) a tonne,
slipping for the second day in a row after an initially strong
showing after the Lunar New Year holiday.
    * NICKEL: Shanghai nickel was the biggest gainer in
the base metals complex, rising by 1 percent to 106,000 yuan a
tonne as the dollar slipped and Shanghai rebar prices
rose. A weaker greenback makes metals cheaper for holders of
other currencies. 
    * NICKEL: Two of Russia's richest men could trigger a
complicated auction known as a "shootout" in a bid to end their
long-running battle for control of mining giant Norilsk Nickel
    * CHALCO SHARES: Shares in Aluminum Corp of China Ltd
, known as Chalco, slumped by the maximum permitted
10 percent in Shanghai on Tuesday for the second day in a row.
The stock only resumed trading on Monday after a 5-1/2-month
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    * Global shares held firm near three-week highs on Tuesday
as U.S. borrowing costs eased ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman
Jerome Powell's awaited first congressional testimony later in
the day.    
 BASE METALS PRICES                       0736 GMT
 Three month LME copper                     7117.5
 Most active ShFE copper                     53350
 Three month LME aluminium                    2150
 Most active ShFE aluminium                  14285
 Three month LME zinc                       3531.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                       26660
 Three month LME lead                       2578.5
 Most active ShFE lead                       19480
 Three month LME nickel                      13985
 Most active ShFE nickel                    105990
 Three month LME tin                         21675
 Most active ShFE tin                       148170
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                            
 LME/SHFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc3   1096.62
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc3  -1466.91
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc3    293.12
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc3   -201.06
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc3   1814.79
($1 = 6.3075 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton and Tom Daly in BEIJING; Editing
by Joseph Radford and Gopakumar Warrier)
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