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METALS-Copper slips below $9,000 for the first time since April

(Updates prices, adds detail)

Aug 19 (Reuters) - London copper prices dropped below $9,000 a tonne to their lowest in more than four months on Thursday on a stronger dollar and easing supply disruptions.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 1.4% to $8,913.30 a tonne, its lowest since April 14, before rebounding to trade at $8,950 a tonne by 0702 GMT, still down 1%.

“The key area for copper on the monthly chart is $8,590 and a move through that level could trigger a 50% Fibonacci correction which would signal a move to $7,450,” said Malcolm Freeman, director at brokerage Kingdom Futures, adding that the U.S. employment numbers due later in the day would offer more cues.

The most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended down 3.1% at 66,790 yuan ($10,282.03) a tonne, its lowest close since June 22.

The dollar rose to a nine-month high against its major peers on expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will start tapering its huge stimulus this year, making greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies.

Residents near MMG Ltd’s Las Bambas copper mine in Peru lifted the blockade of a road used to transport the metal, while operations resumed at Teck Resources Ltd’s Highland Valley Copper operations in Canada after a wildfire evacuation order was lifted, easing copper supply pressure.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME nickel fell 0.3% to $18,825 a tonne, lead rose 0.3% to $2,297 a tonne. ShFE aluminium declined 1.7% to 19,955 yuan a tonne, nickel dropped 2.1% to 141,220 yuan a tonne, zinc was down 1.1% at 22,420 yuan a tonne while lead rose 0.9% to 15,465 yuan a tonne.

* Yangshan copper premium SMM-CUYP-CN rose to $82 a tonne, a near four-fold jump from the 2021 low level of $21 hit in June, indicating improving demand to import the metal into top consumer China.

* LME cash lead was at a $204.50-a-tonne premium over the three-month contract MPB0-3, its biggest since March 1990. Two parties control 50-80% and one party holds 30-40% of available stocks and short-term lead futures, LME warrants report showed. <0#LME-WHT>

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$1 = 6.4958 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Jane Merriman

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