February 23, 2018 / 7:13 AM / a year ago

METALS-London copper set for weekly loss, demand to rise

 (Adds comment, detail; updates prices)
    By Melanie Burton
    MELBOURNE, Feb 23 (Reuters) - London copper prices eased on
Friday and were heading for a small weekly drop as the dollar
strengthened, but the outlook for demand looked bright due to
healthy global economic growth.
    Trade was resuming slowly after Chinese markets reopened on
Thursday following the Lunar New Year holiday, with consumers
expected to return to the market in coming weeks to restock
ahead of the seasonally strongest second quarter for demand. 
    "We don't see Chinese customers pricing yet at these levels
... Many Chinese clients are still on holiday," said one trader.
    * COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper had eased by
0.2 percent to $7,150 a tonne by 0708 GMT, after logging a small
gain in the previous session. Shanghai Futures Exchange copper
 was up by 1.6 percent at 53,590 yuan ($8,434) a tonne.
   * DOLLAR: The dollar edged up against the yen and other
currencies on Friday, trimming earlier losses, as global
investors gingerly dipped their toes back into riskier assets
amid rapidly shifting views on U.S. monetary policy.
    * SCRAP: Supporting the outlook for copper, China's scrap
metal imports fell to the lowest level in nearly two years in
January, as stringent new rules on foreign solid waste imports
came into force at the start of the year.
    * Lower imports of copper scrap are supportive for copper
prices because smelters will need to raise their feed of refined
copper instead. 
    * US ECONOMY: The number of Americans filing for
unemployment benefits fell to a near 45-year low last week,
pointing to strong job growth in February and solid momentum in
the economy.
    * RUSAL: Russian aluminium giant Rusal almost
matched forecasts with a 42 percent jump in fourth-quarter core
earnings on Friday, helped by higher aluminium prices, and said
it saw a 5 percent increase in demand this year, pushing the
market into a more than 2 million tonne deficit. 
    * ALUMINIUM: LME aluminium edged up by 0.3 percent.
Prices are down around 4 percent year to date with China
factories ramping up production as pollution-linked winter
curtailments expire next month. 
    * NICKEL: The global nickel market deficit narrowed to
12,400 tonnes in December from a restated 13,100 tonnes in the
previous month, the International Nickel Study Group said on
     * LME nickel fell 0.5 percent, while SHFE nickel
 rallied 2 percent amid volatile trade.  
     * Asian shares rebounded on Friday as comments from a
Federal Reserve official eased worries about faster rate rises
in the United States, while the safe-haven yen held on to its
gains amid heightened volatility across markets.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
                                   0708 GMT           
 Three month LME copper                           7149
 Most active ShFE copper                         53590
 Three month LME aluminium                      2191.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                      14365
 Three month LME zinc                             3505
 Most active ShFE zinc                           26555
 Three month LME lead                             2545
 Most active ShFE lead                           19370
 Three month LME nickel                          13765
 Most active ShFE nickel                        104940
 Three month LME tin                             21440
 Most active ShFE tin                           147320
 LME/SHFE COPPER               LMESHFCUc3       784.12
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM            LMESHFALc3     -1800.93
 LME/SHFE ZINC                 LMESHFZNc3       207.79
 LME/SHFE LEAD                 LMESHFPBc3      -189.47
 LME/SHFE NICKEL               LMESHFNIc3      2050.87
 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and
Joseph Radford)
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