METALS-Copper up from 2-week low on weaker dollar, global growth forecast


(Updates throughout, changes dateline to London from Melbourne)

By Peter Hobson

LONDON, Jan 10 (Reuters) – Copper prices rose on Wednesday from a two-week low, while other industrial metals also gained after the World Bank forecast solid global economic growth in 2018 and the dollar weakened, making metals cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Meanwhile, investors shrugged off weak inflation data from China, the world’s biggest consumer of metals.

“Demand outside China is still strong,” said ABN AMRO analyst Casper Burgering, predicting that metals would continue to gain in the first quarter of 2018 after rising by 28 percent on average last year.

“The Chinese economy will remain stable. As soon as we get new positive data out of China the market will react to that,” he said.

COPPER: Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.5 percent at $7,136.50 a tonne at 1039 GMT after touching $7,086 on Tuesday, the lowest since Dec. 22.

GLOBAL GROWTH: The global economy is set to expand by 3.1 percent in 2018, slightly up from 3 percent last year and marking the first year since 2008 that it will near or achieve full growth potential, the World Bank said.

CHINA ECONOMY: Chinese producer prices rose at their slowest pace in 13 months in December as a battle against winter smog dented factory demand for raw materials.

CHINA AUTO DEMAND: Automakers in China, the world’s largest car market, face their weakest year of sales growth in at least two decades as tax cuts on smaller engine cars are phased out, potentially reducing demand for metals.

DOLLAR: The dollar weakened for the first time in four sessions, potentially boosting demand for metals by making them cheaper for non-U.S. investors.

ALUMINIUM: U.S. aluminium products makers sought new trade protections against Chinese imports, accusing China Zhongwang Holdings Ltd and its affiliates of evading U.S. anti-dumping and anti-subsidy duties by shipping aluminium products through Vietnam.

ZINC: Benchmark zinc was up 0.2 percent at $3,341 a tonne after concerns over supplies and falling inventories drove it on Tuesday to $3,400, its highest in more than a decade.

ZINC STOCKS: On-warrant stocks available to the market at LME-registered warehouses fell to 129,300 tonnes after by 9,950 tonnes of fresh cancellations, supporting prices. On-warrant inventories are down 35,000 tonnes this month. MZNSTX-TOTAL

OTHER METALS: Aluminium was up 0.8 percent at $2,169 a tonne, nickel was 1 percent higher at $12,825, lead was up 1.2 percent at $2,576 and tin had gained 0.1 percent to $19,970.

Additional reporting by Melanie Burton; editing by Alexander
Smith


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