* Dollar falls against basket of currencies
* Copper down 11 percent so far this year
* Volumes low, traders say buying on dips
By Harpreet Bhal
LONDON, Aug 6 Copper prices rose on Tuesday,
helped by a weak dollar and ahead of trade and industrial output
data from China this week that should shed light on the outlook
for demand from the top metals consumer.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange,
untraded at the close, was last bid at $7,005 a tonne, up from a
close of $6,975 on Monday. Volumes remained thin due to the
Helping gains was a drop in the dollar against a basket of
currencies. A weak dollar makes commodities priced in the U.S.
unit cheaper for holders of other currencies.
Metals market direction is likely to hinge on the Chinese
data, which is expected to confirm that the economy is still
shifting down but not about to come to a screeching halt.
Data scheduled for this week includes trade numbers,
inflation, industrial output and retail sales. China is the
world's largest consumer of copper, accounting for around 40
percent of global refined demand.
"In China there seems to be a gradual ramping up of
infrastructure projects to help support growth. I'm not too
negative on the outlook for copper demand from China," said Nic
Brown, head of commodities research at Natixis.
"There are signs of shortage in the physical market (in
China) and the macroeconomic situation looks OK."
Copper prices have found a floor around the $6,700-a-tonne
level with consistent buying emerging on dips, traders and
analysts said. The metal, used in power and construction, is
down 11 percent so far this year.
"July to early September is traditionally a slack season for
demand in China. Traditionally speaking, producers of copper
electrical wire will start preparing for orders around Christmas
and Chinese New Year and that will then give support," said
Chunlan Li of consultancy CRU in Beijing.
In other metals, immediate demand for tin has surged in the
past month, pushing up LME cash prices to a $28 premium over
three-month prices, the highest since November last year, from a
$67 discount a month ago.
Benchmark tin closed at $21,250 a tonne from a
$21,225 close on Monday.
An Indonesian overhaul of tin trading rules that raises
minimum purity levels is expected to slash shipments from the
world's top refined tin exporter for a few months, potentially
pushing up prices for the metal.
Benchmark lead closed at $2,110.50 from a close of
$2,122, nickel at $13,730 from $13,875 and aluminium
at $1,788.50 from a close of $1,800 on Monday.
Zinc, untraded at the close, was bid at $1,857 from