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METALS-Copper hits near 8-year high on more U.S. stimulus hopes

(Updates prices, Senate run)

HANOI, Jan 6 (Reuters) - Copper prices climbed to their highest in nearly eight years on Wednesday amid hopes for more U.S. stimulus as Democrats edged closer to taking control of the Senate.

Democrats won one hotly contested U.S. Senate race in Georgia and pulled ahead in a second, potentially giving the power to advance Democratic President-elect Joe Biden’s policy goals.

“If the Democrats manage to take control of the Senate it is seen as a bullish sign as President-elect Joe Biden will have an easier time to get his policies through and his party has opted for more stimulus than the Republicans,” said commodities broker Anna Stablum of Marex Spectron in a note.

Copper is often used as a gauge of global economic health.

Supply concerns at Las Bambas mine in Peru, run by Australia-based MMG Ltd, due to a three-week-long roadblock protest, also supported copper prices, despite the company saying there had been no impact on production so far.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose as much as 1.3% to $8,103.50 a tonne, its highest since February 2013. The contract was up 1% at $8,080.50 by 0826 GMT.

The most-traded February copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 1.6% at 59,030 yuan ($9,134.80) a tonne.

LME aluminium advanced 0.8% to $2,056.50 a tonne and zinc climbed 1.2% to $2,847.50 a tonne. ShFE aluminium ended down 0.4% at 15,400 yuan a tonne, while zinc increased 1.6% to 21,375 yuan a tonne.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Chile’s state-owned copper miner Codelco approved a $1.383 billion budget for the overhaul of its aging Salvador mine.

* South Korea’s Youngpoong Corp is considering various options, including legal appeals, against a government order to shut down its 400,000-tonne Seokpo zinc smelter for two months, sources said.

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$1 = 6.4621 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Shailesh Kuber, Uttaresh.V and Subhranshu Sahu

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