Copper holds ground amid persistent dollar weakness

Copper holds ground amid persistent dollar weakness
(Adds analyst comment, scrap data, updates prices)
BEIJING, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Copper prices were flat on
Tuesday amid a persistent weak dollar, even as official data
showed top producer 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 climbing
0.4 percent on Monday.
"We think 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.

* LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange was flat at $7,067 a tonne by 0510 GMT, having
gained 0.4 percent in the previous session.
* SHFE COPPER: The most-traded March copper contract on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange was also unchanged at 53,600
yuan ($8,377.62) a tonne.
* USD: The dollar index was steady, with the currency
remaining near three-year lows after a short-lived 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.

* OTHER METALS: Aluminium and nickel were
hardest hit in a broad-based metals sell-off on Tuesday,
slipping 0.6 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.
* 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 three-day government shutdown, sending
Wall Street's main indexes to record highs, while the dollar
inched down against the yen after the Bank of Japan kept policy

1000 Germany ZEW economic sentiment Jan
1500 U.S. Richmond Fed composite index Jan
1500 Euro zone Consumer confidence flash

0528 GMT
Three month LME copper 7066
Most active ShFE 53590
Three month LME 2236.5
Most active ShFE 14640
Three month LME zinc 3412
Most active ShFE zinc 26105
Three month LME lead 2606.5
Most active ShFE lead 19525
Three month LME nickel 12650
Most active ShFE 97830
Three month LME tin 20665
Most active ShFE tin 146370



($1 = 6.3980 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

First Published: 2018-01-23 04:14:14
Updated 2018-01-23 07:52:29

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