July 25, 2017 / 7:20 AM / a year ago

METALS-Copper hits five-month top fuelled by technical momentum

 (Updates prices)
    By James Regan and Melanie Burton
    SYDNEY/MELBOURNE July 25 (Reuters) - London copper struck
its highest level since mid-February on Tuesday after unexpected
strength in China's economy and a weaker dollar fanned upside
technical momentum.
    Sentiment towards copper from the physical market has
improved as fabricators in China have replenished their
inventories, Citi said in a report.
    "Bonded warehouse premiums returned to $72 a tonne, the
highest in eight months, and ShFE inventories also saw healthy
draws. That said, we believe there is more inventory clearing
work to be completed before imports could pick up sustainably,"
the bank said.
    Lending support, the dollar is near 13-month lows, leaving
dollar-denominated commodities such as copper cheaper for
holders of other currencies.
    * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange had jumped 1.5 percent to $6,118 a tonne by
0700 GMT, after earlier touching its highest level since Feb. 20
at $6,130 a tonne.
    * CHART MOMENTUM: Three traders said that copper's close
above the $6,000 mark last week has attracted some momentum
buying, while its push above Monday's peak in early Asian trade
attracted fresh stop-loss buys. None of the traders viewed gains
as sustainable in the short-term given ample supply.  
    * SHANGHAI COPPER: The most-traded copper contract on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 1.4 percent to     
48,560 yuan ($7,195.14) a tonne.
    * ANTOFAGASTA: Copper miner Antofagasta has signed
a wage deal with workers at its Zaldivar deposit in Chile, the
company and the union said on Monday, averting threatened labour
    * SUPPLY: Disruptions to copper shipments from Canada and
Chile have undermined expectations for rising global copper
supplies in the second half of the year, cutting the fees that
smelters charge miners to process metal.
    * CHINA IMPORTS: Data on Monday showed Chinese imports of
copper fell 11 percent in June year-on-year to 1,444
    * INDONESIA STRIKE: An estimated 5,000 workers at the giant
Grasberg copper mine operated by Freeport-McMoRan Inc's
Indonesian unit will extend their strike for a fourth month in a
dispute over layoffs and employment terms. 
    * NICKEL: ShFE nickel ended 3.2 percent higher,
while LME nickel rallied 1.4 percent to its highest in more than
three months.
    * MARKETS: The U.S. dollar rose from its lowest in more than
a year and U.S. Treasury yields climbed on Monday as investors
braced for news from this week's U.S. central bank meeting and
possible hints on when the next interest rate hike is
    * COMING UP: U.S. home price index May at 1300 GMT.      
 BASE METALS PRICES                       0302 GMT           
 Three month LME copper                                6092.5
 Most active ShFE copper                                48440
 Three month LME aluminium                             1920.5
 Most active ShFE aluminium                             14560
 Three month LME zinc                                    2803
 Most active ShFE zinc                                  23140
 Three month LME lead                                    2271
 Most active ShFE lead                                  17525
 Three month LME nickel                                  9840
 Most active ShFE nickel                                80650
 Three month LME tin                                    20190
 Most active ShFE tin                                  146770
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                                       
 LME/SHFE COPPER                LMESHFCUc3             452.22
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM             LMESHFALc3            -493.29
 LME/SHFE ZINC                  LMESHFZNc3             641.23
 LME/SHFE LEAD                  LMESHFPBc3            -956.27
 LME/SHFE NICKEL                LMESHFNIc3            2699.46
 ($1 = 6.7490 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by James Regan and Melanie Burton; Editing by
Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford)
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