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METALS-London copper rises as Chile labour strike woes stoke supply fears

(Updates prices)

HANOI, May 26 (Reuters) - Copper prices in London advanced on Wednesday, as a potential labour strike in top producer Chile threatened already low supplies in the raw material market.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.6% to $9,975 a tonne by 0702 GMT, while the most-traded July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed down 0.8% to 71,780 yuan ($11,224.39) a tonne, tracking overnight losses in London.

A union representing workers at BHP Group’s Escondida and Spence copper mines has rejected the company’s contract offer and called on members to walk off the job from Thursday.

“Fundamentals remain supportive, with rising concerns over supply disruptions in South America due to labour negotiations and elections,” a Singapore-based copper analyst said.

“It (copper demand) is still weak but premiums might have hit a bottom. Previous pullback in prices also invited buying interest from end users’ restocking activities. Firm contango will also favour traders’ long and carry strategy.”

The dollar wallowed near a five-month low against major peers on Thursday, making greenback-priced metals cheaper and more appealing to holders of other currencies.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME nickel climbed 0.8% to $17,180 a tonne, aluminium increased 0.4% to $2,381.50 a tonne while ShFE aluminium fell 0.7% to 18,210 yuan a tonne and ShFE tin advanced 0.8% to 197,420 yuan a tonne.

* Commodities markets are unlikely to experience a “super-cycle” in the coming years, but copper demand from the renewable energy and electric vehicles sectors remained bright, experts and polls at the LME Asia Week metals seminar said.

* U.S. President Joe Biden will rely on ally countries to supply the bulk of the metals needed to build electric vehicles and focus on processing them domestically into battery parts, sources said.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or ($1 = 6.3950 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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