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METALS-London copper drifts from near two-month top

    MELBOURNE, Dec 21 (Reuters) - London copper slipped on
Thursday from a near two-month high hit the session before on
year end profit-taking, with prices supported by a softer dollar
and a sturdy demand outlook from China. 
    * London Metal Exchange copper edged down by 0.2
percent to $7033.50 a tonne by 0154 GMT, as traders took profits
after prices jumped to the highest in nearly two months at
$7070.50 on Wednesday, when prices closed up 1.5 pct. 
    * OPEN INTEREST: Open interest in all major LME contracts
has fallen this week, reflecting that traders are closing their
positions ahead of year-end and suggesting short-covering has
fuelled copper's gains back above $7,000 this week. MCU-OI-TOT
    * SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper
held a 1 percent advance at 54,180 yuan ($8,263) a tonne. Open
interest also fell. 
    * U.S. ECONOMY: The Republican-controlled U.S. House of
Representatives gave final approval on Wednesday to the biggest
overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years, sending a sweeping
$1.5 trillion tax bill to President Donald Trump for his
    * DOLLAR: The dollar held near a one-week high against the
yen on Thursday, supported by a rise in U.S. bond yields, with
moves limited ahead of a Bank of Japan policy decision and a
news conference by the BOJ governor.
    * STRIKES: Chilean miner Antofagasta Plc said on
Wednesday it had reached a new wage agreement with unionized
workers at its Centinela mine, defusing the risk of a strike
amid a volatile labor landscape in the world's top
copper-producing nation.
    * NOBLE: Troubled commodity trader Noble Group on
Thursday said it had obtained a waiver from creditors to extend
covenants on a loan facility to May next year, giving it more
time in its debt restructuring negotiations.
    * CHINA: China will deepen structural reforms and curb risks
to the country's financial system while maintaining steady
economic growth in 2018, the official Xinhua news agency said on
Wednesday, citing leaders at an economic planning meeting.

    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    * Asian markets offered a muted reaction on Thursday to the
passage of U.S. tax cuts as benefits to company bottom lines
were already baked into stock prices, while bonds were spooked
by the blowout in government debt needed to fund the giveaways.
    0745  France Business climate Dec
    1330  U.S. GDP Final Q3
    1330  U.S. Weekly jobless claims
    1330  U.S. National activity index Nov
    1330  U.S. Philly Fed business index Dec
    1400  U.S. Monthly home price index Oct
    1500  U.S. Leading index Nov
    1500  U.S. Consumer confidence flash  Dec    
 BASE METALS PRICES                0146 GMT            
 Three month LME copper                            7037
 Most active ShFE copper                          54210
 Three month LME aluminium                       2118.5
 Most active ShFE                                 14645
 Three month LME zinc                            3214.5
 Most active ShFE zinc                            25425
 Three month LME lead                            2510.5
 Most active ShFE lead                            19070
 Three month LME nickel                           11985
 Most active ShFE nickel                          95700
 Three month LME tin                                  0
 Most active ShFE tin                            137710
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                                 
 LME/SHFE COPPER            LMESHFCUc3            406.9
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM         LMESHFALc3         -1464.33
 LME/SHFE ZINC              LMESHFZNc3           455.85
 LME/SHFE LEAD              LMESHFPBc3          -803.79
 LME/SHFE NICKEL            LMESHFNIc3          2594.72

($1 = 6.5568 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Sunil Nair)