February 27, 2019 / 1:27 AM / 4 months ago

METALS-Copper hovers near $6,500, supported by falling stocks

MELBOURNE, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Copper held steady near its highest in more than seven months on Wednesday, just below the $6,500 level, as signs of falling supply and a softer dollar underpinned prices.

FUNDAMENTALS

* London Metal Exchange copper traded little changed at $6,490 a tonne by 0103 GMT, consolidating a run to a more than seven-month peak of $6,540 touched on Monday.

* LME STOCKS: Copper stocks at LME warehouses have tumbled to less than 30,000 tonnes from more than 130,000 tonnes in mid January, reaching the lowest level since mid 2005.

* SPREADS: Nearby spreads have ballooned out to $5 and higher over much of the past week, reflecting a scramble for short holders to get metal, underpinning copper prices.

* SHFE: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper was little changed at 50,170 yuan ($7,490) a tonne, down from almost 3 month highs tipped on Monday.

* US ECONOMY: The Federal Reserve is in “no rush to make a judgment” about further changes to interest rates, Fed Chairman Jerome Powell told U.S. lawmakers on Tuesday as he spelled out the central bank’s approach to an economy that is likely slowing.

* USD: The dollar remained near a three-week low on Wednesday after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell reiterated that the central bank would stay patient on monetary policy and as the pound rallied.

* ALUMINIUM: Glencore has lodged a complaint with the London Metal Exchange (LME) about the company’s inability to take speedy delivery of aluminium from warehouses owned by ISTIM UK in Port Klang, Malaysia, two sources familiar with the matter said.

* COPPER: Vedanta Ltd is selling down copper concentrate stocks from its Sterlite smelter in southern India, looking to cut costs at the plant ordered permanently shut in May, company and government sources told Reuters last week.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Britain’s pound vaulted to a 21-month high against the euro on Tuesday on hopes that the worst of all Brexits will be avoided, while world shares took a breather after scaling five-month peaks.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0900 EU Money-M3 Growth Jan

1000 EU Business Climate Feb

1000 EU Economic Sentiment Feb

1000 EU Industrial Sentiment Feb

1000 EU Consumer Confid Final Feb

1100 Brazil IGP-M Inflation Index Feb

1500 Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testifies on U.S. monetary policy and the economy before the House Financial Services Committee - 1500 GMT

PRICES

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

ARBS ($1 = 6.6980 Chinese yuan renminbi)

Reporting by Melanie Burton; editing by Richard Pullin

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