BEIJING, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Copper prices slipped in early Asian trade on Wednesday, following equity markets lower, as investors switched into safe-haven assets like gold amid rising tensions in the Middle East, although low inventories and tighter supply limited the drop. Iran launched a missile attack on U.S.-led forces in Iraq in the early hours of Wednesday, hours after the funeral of an Iranian commander whose killing in a U.S. drone strike has raised fears of a wider war in the region. FUNDAMENTALS * COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.1% to $6,140.50 a tonne by 0133 GMT, after finishing up 0.2% in the previous session. The most-traded March copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.3% to 48,770 yuan ($7,023.03) a tonne. * STOCKS: LME copper stocksof just 140,925 tonnes, the lowest since March, were limiting any price fall. * CHILE: Copper output slumped at Chile's state miner Codelco and BHP's sprawling Escondida mine in November, according to Chile state copper agency Cochilco, amid a turbulent month of riots and mass protests that rocked the mineral-rich South American nation. * GOLD: Spot gold climbed 1.9% to $1,603.21 per ounce by 0056 GMT. Prices hit their highest since March 2013 at $1,610.90 earlier in the session. * COPPER: The copper price is unlikely to rebound in 2020 even if trade tensions between the United States and China subside, the head of Chile mining trade union Sonami said on Tuesday. * OTHER METALS: Aluminium and tin were flat but the rest of the complex was lower, with nickel falling as much as 1.2%. * COLUMN: Base metals hope for manufacturing recovery in 2020: Andy Home * For the top stories in metals and other news, click or MARKETS NEWS * Asian shares and U.S. treasury yields plunged, while gold and oil shot higher after Iran fired rockets at an Iraqi airbase that hosts U.S. military forces DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0700 Germany Industrial Orders MM Nov 0745 France Reserve Assets Total Dec 0830 UK Halifax House Prices MM Dec 1000 EU Consumer Confid. Final Dec PRICES BASE METALS PRICES 0132 GMT Three month LME copper 6141.5 Most active ShFE copper 48760 Three month LME aluminium 1816.5 Most active ShFE aluminium 14065 Three month LME zinc 2343.5 Most active ShFE zinc 18365 Three month LME lead 1905 Most active ShFE lead 14850 Three month LME nickel 13865 Most active ShFE nickel 108980 Three month LME tin 0 Most active ShFE tin 135480 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc 569.01 3 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc -371.14 3 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc -267.68 3 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc -518.23 3 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc -2190.54 3 ($1 = 6.9443 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Michael Perry)
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