March 22, 2019 / 4:04 AM / a month ago

METALS-London metal prices steady after upbeat U.S. data, but stronger dollar drags

(Adds comment, detail; updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

SINGAPORE, March 22 (Reuters) - Base metals on the London Metal Exchange were steady on Friday after solid U.S. data helped calm worries over the outlook for the global economy, although a strong U.S. dollar put some downward pressure on prices.

Thursday's U.S. economic data was upbeat as initial claims for jobless benefits fell more than expected and mid-Atlantic factory activity rebounded sharply.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER, ALUMINIUM: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was almost flat at $6,423.5 a tonne by 0335 GMT, while aluminium edged up 0.2 percent.

* COPPER OUTLOOK: "We are looking at three months and I think copper will go up ... because we are going to have more demand as part of a cyclical trend," said CRU analyst Chris Wu, referring to seasonally higher growth in China in the second quarter.

* ZINC: Both London zinc and Shanghai zinc fell, despite depleting inventories in LME warehouses MZNSTX-TOTAL.

* AUSTRALIA: Commodity giant Glencore on Friday said it had suspended operations at its McArthur River zinc mine in northern Australia as a cyclone approaches.

* NORSK HYDRO: Norsk Hydro, one of the world's largest aluminium producers, said one of its key units is operating at only 50 percent of capacity following a cyber attack on the company this week.

* SHANGHAI: The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.8 percent to 48,940 yuan ($7,300.77) a tonne, while aluminium lost 0.4 percent and nickel fell 2.3 percent.

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PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin

ARBS ($1 = 6.7034 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Joseph Radford

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