January 23, 2018 / 5:56 AM / in a year

METALS-Shanghai copper edges up amid persistent dollar weakness

 (Recasts to lead with ShFE copper, updates prices)
    BEIJING, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Shanghai copper prices gained
ground on Tuesday amid a persistent weak dollar, even as
official data showed China churned out a record volume of
refined copper in December, suggesting the world's biggest
copper consumer is well supplied.
    A weak dollar makes metals cheaper for holders of other
currencies and supports prices, and the greenback's dive as a
result of the U.S. government shutdown had seen copper climb by
0.4 percent in both Shanghai and London on Monday.
    "We think the recent copper price rebound is mostly driven
by dollar weakness," Argonaut Securities wrote in a note. "Any
dollar weakness reversal may weigh down on copper prices, in our
    While China's refined copper output hit an all-time high in
December, Argonaut noted that unwrought copper imports fell by 5
percent in 2017.
    "The reduced import appetite reflects China's sluggish
copper demand, especially in the power sector," it added. 
    * SHFE COPPER: The most-traded March copper contract on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) closed up 0.2 percent
at 53,720 yuan ($8,395.06) a tonne.
    * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange was down 0.3 percent at $7,044 a tonne, as of
0825 GMT, after rising as much as 0.4 percent earlier in the
    * NICKEL/LEAD: ShFE nickel and lead came
alive after the mid-session interval, with nickel clocking a 1.7
percent rise to 99,720 yuan a tonne at the close, and lead
gaining 1.9 percent amid tight stocks to end at 19,800 yuan a
tonne, its highest close since Oct. 18.
    * NICKEL: SHFE nickel "drifted in line with onshore
weakness, but unlike iron ore it did find some regional
physical demand into the morning sell-off, the uptrend remains
in tact for now," Marex Spectron wrote in a note.  
    * USD: The dollar index inched up 0.1 percent, with
the currency remaining near three-year lows after a rally
following the deal to re-open the U.S. government. 
    * CHINA: China's refined copper output jumped by 16.7
percent year-on-year to a record high in December, as smelters
looked to churn out as much metal as possible ahead of a fall in
treatment charges for copper concentrate.
    * SCRAP: China's imports of scrap copper fell 19.8 percent
in December from a year earlier, customs data showed on Tuesday,
as the country continues a clampdown on taking foreign waste.

    * ALUMINIUM: China's central Henan province churned out more
aluminium than neighbouring Shandong in 2017 for the first time
in years, becoming the nation's top-producing region. 

    * MONGOLIA: Global miner Rio Tinto, will
set up a new office in the Mongolian capital, separate from its
giant Oyu Tolgoi project, to focus on exploration and local
ties, strengthening its commitment to one of the world's
greatest copper prospects.
    * CRYPTOCURRENCIES: Swiss-based commodities fund Tiberius
Group plans to make a foray into cryptocurrencies with the
launch of what may be the first digital money underpinned by
physically deliverable metals including industrials such as
aluminium and copper.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       
    * Asian stocks advanced on Tuesday after U.S. senators
struck a deal to end a government shutdown in a boost to Wall
Street, while the dollar turned higher against the yen after
Bank Of Japan's chief reiterated his support for quantitative
 BASE METALS PRICES                           0757 GMT
 Three month LME copper                           7068
 Most active ShFE copper                         53710
 Three month LME aluminium                        2235
 Most active ShFE aluminium                      14650
 Three month LME zinc                             3420
 Most active ShFE zinc                           26215
 Three month LME lead                           2619.5
 Most active ShFE lead                           19785
 Three month LME nickel                          12825
 Most active ShFE nickel                         99720
 Three month LME tin                             20715
 Most active ShFE tin                           146900
 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE                                
 LME/SHFE COPPER               LMESHFCUc3       972.56
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM            LMESHFALc3     -1957.58
 LME/SHFE ZINC                 LMESHFZNc3       314.87
 LME/SHFE LEAD                 LMESHFPBc3      -496.51
 LME/SHFE NICKEL               LMESHFNIc3      1472.79

($1 = 6.3990 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Tom Daly, Editing by Gopakumar Warrier and Sherry
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