February 12, 2018 / 11:21 AM / 6 months ago

METALS-Weaker dollar bumps copper up from two-month low

* LME/ShFE arb: bit.ly/2wZSAEz (Updates with closing prices)

By Peter Hobson

LONDON, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose on Monday from a two-month low last week, helped by a weaker dollar and more stable global markets that encouraged a return to riskier assets.

A weaker dollar makes metals cheaper for users of other currencies and can spur demand.

“A dip in the dollar has lifted the whole base metals sector this morning,” Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said. “Sentiment is better. There’s nothing fundamental. It’s external factors affecting the market.”

Industrial metals prices have fallen this year but remain near multi-year highs.

“There’s a good argument for buying the dips and still being generally positive for metals,” Bhar said.

COPPER: Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange ended up 1.1 percent at $6,831 a tonne after touching $6,733 on Friday, the lowest since Dec. 14.

TECHNICALS: Copper was struggling to rise above its 100-day moving average at $6,892 a tonne. Fibonacci resistance was at $6,897 and copper prices were likely to fall further, Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao said.

POSITIONING: Speculators’ net long position in LME copper has fallen to the lowest since May and in Comex copper has more than halved since the start of the year, putting pressure on prices. LME-CA-MNET

STRIKES: Fears of labour strikes this year had helped push copper higher. But early wage deals at two copper mines may be a signpost for further agreements with mine workers.

STOCKS: Inventories in LME-registered warehouses fell slightly but remain near the highest in a year after rising from 200,000 tonnes in mid-January to more than 330,000 tonnes, suggesting plentiful supply. MCUSTX-TOTAL

GLOBAL MARKETS: World shares staggered higher after their worst week in two years, attempting to brush off fresh rises in global bond yields. Oil prices also rose for the first time in seven trading sessions.

U.S. DEMAND: President Donald Trump unveiled a long-awaited infrastructure plan on Monday that asks the U.S. Congress to authorize $200 billion over 10 years to stimulate $1.5 trillion in improvements paid for by states, localities and private investors.

CHINA LOANS: Banks in China, the world’s biggest consumer of metals, extended a record 2.9 trillion yuan ($458.3 billion) in new yuan loans in January, blowing past expectations as policymakers aim to sustain solid economic growth.

CHINA HOLIDAY: The Shanghai Futures Exchange will close from the evening of Feb. 14 for Lunar New Year celebrations.

OTHER METALS: LME aluminium ended up 0.1 percent at $2,124 a tonne, zinc closed down 0.1 percent at $3,381, nickel ended up 0.1 percent at $13,100, lead closed down 0.7 percent at $2,516 and tin finished 0.3 percent higher at $21,095.

Reporting by Peter Hobson. Additional reporting by Maytaal Angel.; Editing by Dale Hudson and David Evans

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