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METALS-Copper prices advance as Fed chief calms rate-hike fears

(Updates prices, adds details and quotes)

June 23 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose on Wednesday as testimony from U.S. Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell eased worries of a sooner-than-expected rate hike that could dampen liquidity into metals.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.5% at $9,344.50 a tonne, as of 0701 GMT, while the most-traded July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed 2% higher at 68,480 yuan ($10,562.36) a tonne.

Powell on Tuesday reaffirmed the central bank’s intent to encourage a “broad and inclusive” recovery of the job market, and not to raise interest rates too quickly based only on the fear of coming inflation.

“Fed’s Jerome Powell played a clever balancing act to try and calm nerves over inflation and pushing back the potential for sooner-than-expected interest rate rises,” Malcolm Freeman, a director at UK brokerage Kingdom Futures said.

Last week, investors fretted that the U.S. central bank could tighten its policy soon, leading to LME copper dropping 8.6%, its biggest weekly fall since March 2020.

FUNDAMENTALS

* China’s state reserves administration said it would publicly auction a total of 100,000 tonnes of non-ferrous metals early next month in the first round of a rare and highly anticipated release of its stockpiles.

* China’s Zhejiang Huayou Cobalt’s first nickel and cobalt project in Indonesia will have capital expenditure coming in below target, a company official said.

* Glencore Chief Executive Ivan Glasenberg said copper supplies needed to increase by one million tonnes a year until 2050 to meet an expected demand of 60 million tonnes.

* LME nickel rose 0.5% to $17,825 a tonne, while ShFE nickel jumped 2.7% to 133,700 yuan a tonne, and ShFE tin climbed 3.6% to 207,830 yuan a tonne.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or

$1 = 6.4834 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi and Tom Daly; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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