* Last week’s 7 pct gain in copper biggest since Nov 2016
* GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl
* LME/ShFE arb: bit.ly/2wZSAEz (Updates with official prices, adds comment)
By Jan Harvey
LONDON, Feb 19 (Reuters) - Copper fell on Monday as a recovery in the dollar prompted some profit-taking in the metal after its biggest weekly rise in more than a year, while aluminium climbed as the United States said it was considering import tariffs on the metal.
Copper, widely used in construction, surged 7 percent last week as a rebound in stock markets showed increasing appetite for risk, and as the dollar tumbled, boosting the appeal of assets priced in the U.S. currency.
“Financial markets have had quite a volatile month, and that has also been the case for copper,” Danske Bank analyst Jens Pedersen said. “Today it could simply be a case of the dollar strengthening a bit, and that weighing on base metals.”
“We are heading for another round of manufacturing PMIs this week, which is a gauge of how industrial activity is doing - whether it is still moving ahead at a relatively strong pace, which should cap downside for copper and other base metals, or whether it is close to a peak. That is what the market is looking at right now.”
* COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper was down 1.3 percent at $7,137 a tonne in official midday trading. With many Asian markets closed for the Lunar New Year break and U.S. markets also shuttered for Presidents Day, volumes were exceptionally light across base metals.
* COPPER INVENTORIES: Copper stocks in LME warehouses MCUSTX-TOTAL rose another 5,500 tonnes to 338,275 tonnes, exchange data showed on Monday, their highest since May last year.
* CURRENCY MARKETS: The dollar rebounded on Monday as investors bought back the greenback following its plunge to three-year lows.
* INVESTORS: Hedge funds and money managers cut their net long positions in COMEX copper contracts in the week to Feb. 13, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.
* ALUMINIUM DUTIES: U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross unveiled options on Friday for hefty U.S. steel and aluminium import restrictions. The Section 232 reviews contained global tariff options of at least 24 percent on steel products, and at least 7.7 percent on aluminium products.
* ALUMINIUM: LME aluminium was untraded in official rings, but was last bid up 0.7 percent at $2,223 a tonne. Nearly 90 percent of U.S. aluminium demand last year was met by imports, according to Commerzbank.
* ALUMINIUM SPREADS: The premium for cash over three-month aluminium CMAL0-3 jumped to its highest since late August at $10 a tonne on Monday, from a discount of $1.50 at the end of last week, suggesting near-term tightness in the market.
* NICKEL PRICES: LME nickel was down 1.8 percent at $13,670 a tonne in official trading after posting a 7 percent rally last week.
* OTHER METALS: LME zinc was down 0.2 percent at $3,568 a tonne in offical rings, while lead was 0.7 percent lower at $2,595 a tonne and tin was down 0.5 percent at $21,650 a tonne.
Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne, editing by Louise Heavens and Adrian Croft