* Markets cautious ahead of China trade data on Weds
* Philippines moots tighter mine regulation, supports nickel
* Shanghai bonded copper premiums drop $5 to $45, hit new 2012-low (Adds comment, detail; updates prices)
MELBOURNE, June 7 (Reuters) - London copper fell back on Tuesday as demand slackened after prices hit four-week highs in the previous session, but a weaker dollar offered support after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said a rate hike was on the horizon but did not specify when.
Yellen on Monday gave a largely upbeat assessment of the U.S. economic outlook and said interest rate hikes are coming but gave little sense of timing.
The dollar was lose to four-week lows against a basket of currencies, cutting the cost of commodity purchases by buyers paying with other currencies.
“This week’s rally continues to be supported by a weaker USD and falling inventories. However, investors will remain cautious leading into the release of China’s trade data tomorrow,” ANZ said in a note.
China’s May data is expected to reinforce views that the world’s second-largest economy is steadying, but not gaining momentum.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had slipped 0.7 percent to $4,656.50 a tonne by 0714 GMT, after closing flat in the previous session when it struck its highest since May 12 at $4,748 a tonne.
Shanghai Futures Exchange copper was trading down 0.7 percent at 35,840 yuan ($5,454) a tonne.
“There is a lot of talk of commodities bull market and risk has generally been supported. But it feels like demand for most base metals is not that great at all,” said a trader in Singapore.
Premiums for Shanghai bonded copper fell $5 to $45, which is the weakest since 2012, reflecting weak demand for physical metal. CU-BMPBW-SHMET
Meanwhile, U.S. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said that the United States and China were not able to come to any agreement on global aluminium excess capacity.
In other metals, nickel prices have got a boost from threats of mining sector reform in the Philippines, hitting the highest in more than a fortnight on Monday when they climbed 1.9 percent. The Philippines is China’s biggest supplier of nickel ore.
Philippine President-elect Rodrigo Duterte warned mining companies to “shape up”, as he signalled he would prefer ownership of mining assets to be left to local investors.
Around two dozen Philippine metallic mines have repeatedly breached environmental rules and been identified in a list to be submitted to Duterte, the industry regulator said.
Elsewhere, a U.S. judge said two units of Anglo-Swiss mining company Glencore Plc must face a private antitrust lawsuit accusing them of trying to monopolize the market for special high grade zinc.
A former chief executive of the London Metal Exchange is holding talks with trading houses and brokers about launching a new London-based metals trading platform.
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 ($1 = 6.5708 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Ed Davies and Joseph Radford)
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