February 19, 2018 / 1:45 AM / 10 months ago

METALS-LME copper slips as dollar gains in holiday-thinned trade

    MELBOURNE, Feb 19 (Reuters) - London metals started the week
lower on Monday as a resurgent dollar dragged down prices from
one-month highs hit the session before and the Lunar New Year
holidays reduced liquidity.
       
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper had slipped
by 0.6 percent to $7,189 a tonne by 0104 GMT, erasing small
gains from the previous session when prices hit the highest
since Jan. 15 at $7,253. Volumes were exceptionally light across
the complex with less than 200 lots of turnover.  
    * SHFE: The Shanghai Futures Exchange was closed for the
Lunar New Year. Markets will reopen on Thursday, Feb. 22.  
    * DOLLAR: The dollar found some traction following last
week's steep fall and managed to hold above a three-year low
against a basket of currencies.
    * INVESTORS: Hedge funds and money managers cut their net
long positions in COMEX gold and copper contracts in the week to
Feb. 13, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data
showed on Friday. The dealers cut their net long position in
copper by 17,690 contracts to 36,119 contracts, according to the
CFTC data, the lowest since May.
    * COPPER STOCKS: Comex copper stocks have doubled from this
time last year to more than 225,000 tonnes. HG-STX-COMEX LME
stocks were also at nine-month highs, due to inflows earlier
this month. MCUSTX-TOTAL. SHFE copper stocks were at the
highest since August. CU-STX-SGH
    * ALUMINIUM DUTIES: U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross
unveiled options on Friday for President Donald Trump to impose
hefty steel and aluminium import restrictions ranging from
global tariffs on all products from all countries to quotas
based on previous exports to the United States.
    * U.S. ECONOMY: U.S. homebuilding rose to a more than
one-year high in January, boosted by strong increases in the
construction of both single- and multi-family housing units, and
further gains are likely with building permits surging to their
highest since 2007.
    * NOBLE: Embattled commodities trader Noble Group Ltd
 said on Monday that it expects a total fourth-quarter
2017 loss of $1.73 billion to $1.93 billion, stemming largely
from non-cash losses from its mark-to-market derivatives
portfolio.
    * ALUMINIUM: LME aluminium eased 0.6 percent after it closed
2 percent higher on Friday, supported by tightening spreads.
Aluminium spreads have come under the most pressure since
August, widening to a $10 premium for cash over benchmark
material as the major contract nears expiry, which is likely to
trigger exchange deliveries. CMAL0-3
    * OTHER METALS: Other metals were flat to lower, led by LME
nickel, which fell 1.2 percent after posting a 7 percent
rally last week.
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    MARKETS NEWS    
    * Asian shares ticked up, joining a global recovery for
equity markets as sentiment improved gradually from a recent
shakeout that stemmed from fears of creeping inflation and
higher borrowing costs.    
        
    DATA/EVENTS    
    No major     releases on Monday
    PRICES    
    
 BASE METALS PRICES                      0109 GMT            
 Three month LME copper                                  7189
 Most active ShFE copper                                    0
 Three month LME aluminium                               2195
 Most active ShFE aluminium                                 0
 Three month LME zinc                                  3564.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                                      0
 Three month LME lead                                    2605
 Most active ShFE lead                                      0
 Three month LME nickel                                 13745
 Most active ShFE nickel                                    0
 Three month LME tin                                    21750
 Most active ShFE tin                                       0
 
    
 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
  
 
 
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