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METALS-Copper falls on strong dollar, easing supply worries

(Updates prices, adds details on tin)

Aug 11 (Reuters) - Copper prices fell on Wednesday, pressured by a stronger U.S. dollar and easing worries about supply as a strike at Chile’s Escondida mine looked less likely.

The dollar was poised just below this year’s high against the euro and struck a five-week peak against the yen ahead of U.S. inflation data, with the prospect that a strong number could pressure the Federal Reserve to wind back policy support.

A stronger dollar makes greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies.

“Many Fed officials said the level of inflation has reached the threshold that prompted the bank to raise rates. This has allowed the U.S. dollar to maintain a strong momentum,” said Huatai Futures in a report, noting that base metals have been relatively resilient against a firmer dollar.

BHP Group Ltd and the union at its Escondida copper mine, the world’s biggest, said they had reached a tentative deal for a new contract, pending agreement from workers.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange eased 0.3% to $9,496.50 a tonne by 0716 GMT, while the most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange tracked overnight gains in London to close up 0.7% at 69,770 yuan ($10,760.83) a tonne.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Chilean miners expect copper prices to stay high for two to three years but remain wary of labelling the boom a “supercycle” like what happened a decade ago, a senior executive said.

* LME lead inventories MPBSTX-TOTAL fell to 58,325 tonnes, their lowest since July 2019, while ShFE lead stockpiles PB-STX-SGH hit a record 181,391 tonnes by the end of last week.

* LME nickel fell 0.7% to $18,825 a tonne, aluminium advanced 0.7% to $2,591.50 a tonne, while ShFE aluminium hit a three-month high at 20,245 yuan a tonne.

* ShFE tin hit a record 239,870 yuan a tonne as ShFE stockpiles SN-STX-SGH fell to their lowest since April 2017 at 2,193 tonnes, while refined tin output from 20 Chinese smelters plunged 22.7% in July from a month earlier to 12,031 tonnes, Antaike said.

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$1 = 6.4837 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi Additional reporting by Tom Daly Editing by Ramakrishnan M. and David Holmes

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