* Dollar hits 7-week low after Trump inauguration
* Trump strikes protectionist tone in inauguration speech
* Nickel climbs after sliding 7.2 pct last week
* GRAPHIC-2017 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl (Updates with closing prices)
By Jan Harvey
LONDON, Jan 23 (Reuters) - Copper rose on Monday, buoyed by dollar weakness and hopes that U.S. President Donald Trump’s incoming administration would make good on a pledge to boost infrastructure spending in the world’s largest economy.
In his inauguration speech on Friday, Trump said his administration would “build new roads, and highways, and bridges, and airports, and tunnels, and railways all across our wonderful nation”.
However he did not go into specifics, and there was no mention of plans to outlay $1 trillion in spending over a 10-year period that were part of his election campaign.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed up 0.8 percent at $5,795 a tonne.
“What’s helping copper is clearly the weaker dollar, and hopes that we’ll get tax cuts, fiscal spending and infrastructure spending in the United States,” Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said.
“The first 100 days of this presidency will be critical.”
The red metal used in construction has rallied 14 percent since the Nov. 8 election saw Trump voted into office on the back of promises to cut taxes and boost spending.
Meanwhile, the Lunar New Year holiday, starting Jan. 27, is expected to subdue metals demand this month as Chinese factories close, sometimes for two to three weeks.
Nickel ended the day up 0.2 percent at $9,715 a tonne, recovering some lost ground on Monday after falling more than 7 percent last week after Indonesia lifted a longstanding export ban on bauxite and nickel ore.
However, it remains one of the worst performing base metals so far this year. “Recent Indonesian and Filipino nickel supply news reinforce our view that nickel will be the base metals underperformer in 2017,” Citi said in a note.
Among this month’s best performing metals, LME zinc closed up 0.8 percent at $2,790 a tonne, while battery material lead ended 2.1 percent higher at $2,357 a tonne.
A large dominant position and a sizeable number of cancelled warrants have pushed the LME lead market into backwardation, meaning near-term contracts are trading at a premium to those for longer-term delivery.
On-warrant inventories, those not earmarked for delivery out of LME warehouses and therefore available to investors, slid by a fifth to 129,025 tonnes, LME data showed on Monday.
LME data shows that over half of LME lead stocks are held by a single party <0#LME-WHL>.
LME aluminium ended the day up 0.2 percent at $1,849.50 a tonne, having earlier hit its highest since May 2015 at $1,873. Tin closed 0.4 percent lower at $20,125 a tonne.
Three month LME copper
Most active ShFE copper
Three month LME aluminium
Most active ShFE aluminium
Three month LME zinc
Most active ShFE zinc
Three month LME lead
Most active ShFE lead
Three month LME nickel
Most active ShFE nickel
Three month LME tin
Most active ShFE tin
Additional reporting by Eric Onstad in London, James Regan in Sydney; Editing by David Evans and Mark Potter