METALS-Copper steady as Iran deal offsets strong dollar, surplus
* Iran nuclear deal seen positive for economic growth * Data shows global copper market swung to surplus in Aug. * Expectations Fed could soon start tapering stimulus By Maytaal Angel LONDON, Nov 25 (Reuters) - Copper closed little changed on Monday as a deal over Iran's nuclear programme that could boost global growth offset a strong dollar and concerns over rising supplies. The deal to curb Iran's nuclear programme prompted oil prices to fall and world equity markets and the dollar to rise as investors priced in easing Middle East political tensions and the lift it could give to global economic growth. A stronger dollar makes dollar-priced metals costlier for non-U.S. investors, typically putting pressure on prices. Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed at $7,099 a tonne on Monday, after hitting its highest level in nearly two weeks at $7,140 a tonne. It closed at $7,095 on Friday. Copper prices were also undermined by concerns over rising supplies. Data from the International Copper Study Group have shown that the global copper market swung to a 21,000-tonne surplus in August, rising after three straight months of deficit.. "We think the copper market has a problem with supplies continuing to increase despite the lower prices and the lacklustre demand outlook. We expect prices to end the year at $6,750 a tonne," said Tom Pugh, an analyst at Capital Economics. Copper has been underpinned somewhat in recent weeks by a short-term fall in physical supply in Asia and expectations China's economic reforms will support an improvement in global demand next year. However, the metal is still down about 10 percent for the year. China's importers of refined copper face a shortfall of about 30,000 tonnes this month and the next as a typhoon-hit Philippines smelter delays metal deliveries, supporting spot premiums near four-year highs. In the United States, there are still expectations that the Federal Reserve could soon start scaling back its commodity-friendly stimulus programme as the U.S. economy improves. Solid U.S. data last week pointed to a gradually improving outlook for 2014, albeit with less money-printing. But on Monday, data showed contracts to buy previously owned U.S. homes fell for a fifth straight month in October, adding to signs of cooling in the housing market. Trading is expected to calm down this week ahead of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday. In other metals, aluminium closed at $1,774.50 a tonne from $1,782 at the close on Friday. Last week it hit its lowest level since July. The metal is in chronic oversupply, but analysts polled by Reuters last month expect the surplus to shrink to 592,000 tonnes next year from 853,000 tonnes this year, with some expecting a deficit in the coming two years. Zinc closed at $1,903 a tonne from $1,909 on Friday; lead at $2,087.50 a tonne from $2,107; tin at $22,945 a tonne from $22,850; and nickel at $13,545 a tonne from $13,560. PRICES Three month LME copper CMCU3 Most active ShFE copper SCFcv1 Three month LME aluminium CMAL3 Most active ShFE aluminium SAFcv1 Three month LME zinc CMZN3 Most active ShFE zinc SZNcv1 Three month LME lead CMPB3 Most active ShFE lead SPBcv1 Three month LME nickel CMNI3 Three month LME tin CMSN3
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