April 13, 2017 / 9:59 AM / 3 years ago

METALS-Copper climbs as China trade brightens, imports jump

* LME/SHFe arb: tmsnrt.rs/2oQ5nm2 (Updates with closing prices)

By Zandi Shabalala

LONDON, April 13 (Reuters) - Copper prices rebounded from their lowest level in three months on Thursday, helped by a weaker dollar and upbeat trade data from China, the largest consumer of the metal, that spurred hopes for higher demand.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange closed 1.1 percent lower at $5,692 tonne, after falling to its lowest since Jan. 10 in the previous session.

“The China data definitely shows a recovery from recent lows, so its not surprising to see prices higher,” said Eugene Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank.

* CHINA: China’s 2017 export outlook brightened considerably after it reported forecast-beating trade growth in March and U.S. President Donald Trump softened his anti-China rhetoric in an abrupt policy shift.

* COPPER: China’s imports of copper rose 26.5 percent from month ago to 430,000 tonnes in March, data from the General Administration of Customs showed.

* DOLLAR: The dollar index slid to a two-week low after U.S. President Donald Trump said it was too strong. A lower U.S. currency makes dollar-denominated metals cheaper for holders of other currencies, which could boost demand.

* TECHNICALS: Copper support seen at Wednesday’s low around $5,600/15, a breach could see a test of $5,500. Resistance seen at $5,800 near the 100-day moving average. * China’s central bank has been quietly boosting its policy independence and regulatory reach as it seeks to contain risks to the financial system, policy insiders said, helping ensure stability before a five-yearly leadership team transition this year.

* Losses amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars appear to be pushing Indonesia and miner Freeport McMoRan to resolve a row that has crippled operations at Grasberg for three months.

* Chile, the world’s biggest copper producer, faces a fresh threat of labour action when a union at the large Chuquicamata mine said it had blocked access as a “warning” over planned changes to job opportunities.

* The global zinc market moved into a surplus of 19,800 tonnes in February from a deficit of 22,300 tonnes in January, data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group showed.

* ALUMINIUM: China exported 410,000 tonnes of unwrought aluminium and aluminium products, up from February’s 260,000 tonnes. China’s aluminium makers have stepped up exports as a healthier global manufacturing climate and declining world stockpiles boost demand.

* OTHER METALS: LME aluminium gained 0.6 percent to $1,910, nickel inched 0.1 percent lower to $9,750, while tin was up 1 percent at $19,605. Lead fell 0.1 percent to $2,239. Zinc fell 0.7 percent to $2,624, edging close to January lows touched this week.

Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne; Editing by Edmund Blair

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