MELBOURNE, March 24 (Reuters) - London copper was on track for a two percent weekly drop on Friday after striking union members at Escondida, the world’s top copper mine, agreed to return to work.
* LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper edged down by 0.2 percent to $5,811 a tonne by 0114 GMT, following a small gain in the previous session. The metal was set for a two percent weekly drop, trimming its year-to-date gains to 5 percent.
* TECHNICALS: Copper faces resistance at the 200-day moving average on the weekly chart at $5,959 a tonne.
* SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper was little changed at 47,000 yuan ($6,827) a tonne.
* ZINC STRIKE: Noranda Income Fund said on Thursday zinc output at its Quebec plant, the second-largest in North America, was at 50-60 percent of normal operating levels as a five-and-a-half week long strike dragged on.
* JAPAN ECON: Confidence among Japanese manufacturers rose for a seventh straight month in March to a three-year high, while the service sector’s mood held steady, a Reuters poll showed, highlighting an export-led economic recovery.
* FREEPORT: Freeport-McMoRan Inc said Thursday that a nearly two-week strike has not materially impacted production levels at its Cerro Verde copper mine in Peru, the country’s biggest, although the union said output has been cut in half.
* ESCONDIDA: The strike at Chile’s Escondida, the world’s largest copper mine, is ending after workers decided to invoke a rarely used legal provision that allows them to extend their old contract, the union said on Thursday.
* CHINA POLLUTION: Beijing and the surrounding province of Hebei will plant trees, establish green belts and make use of rivers and wetlands to create a “green necklace” to protect China’s smog-hit capital from pollution.
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MARKETS: U.S. stocks inched lower on Thursday after a vote on President Donald Trump’s healthcare bill was delayed, casting doubt over the prospects of Trump’s pro-growth policies, while European shares rose on bank borrowing and oil prices slipped.
0745 France GDP Final Q4
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Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen speaks at lunch event at
the Brookings Institution to discuss Fed’s recent rate
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Three month LME copper
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Three month LME zinc
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ARBS ($1 = 6.8843 Chinese yuan renminbi)
Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin