METALS–Metals buckle as ‘risk off’, strong dollar bite

 (Adds comment, detail, updates prices)
    By Melanie Burton
    MELBOURNE, Feb 6 (Reuters) - London nickel fell more than 3
percent on Tuesday, leading the base metals complex lower as
"risk off" sentiment soured share markets and safe-haven buying
lifted the dollar. 
    The dollar has risen as a rout in global equities prompted
anxious investors to cut exposure to riskier assets and seek
shelter in the relative safety of the greenback. A stronger
dollar makes commodities more expensive for buyers holding other
    But given a pick up in global manufacturing and supply
shortfalls in some metals, Citibank suggested dips offered an
opportunity to buy. 
    "The recent sell-off in rates and equities, and spike in
VIX, presents an opportunity to rotate into industrial metals,"
Citibank said in a report. 
    "We recommend asset managers raise their exposure to
industrial metals over the coming month, particularly at the
expense of bonds and other fixed income, consistent with... our
own constructive 1H18 outlook for industrial metals – most
notably towards zinc and copper."
    * COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper slid 1.5
percent to $7,064.50 a tonne by 0547 GMT, paring 1.8 percent
gains from the previous session and still holding above the
$7,000 mark that has acted as a price floor for most of the
year. Shanghai Futures Exchange copper erased overnight
gains to slip 0.4 percent to 52,810 yuan ($8,405) a tonne.
    * NICKEL: LME nickel fell as much as 3.6 percent
earlier and was trading down 2.7 percent at $13,370 a tonne. Any
break of support at Friday's low of $13,185 would take prices
back to Jan. 24 levels. Prices in January struck a 2-1/2 year
top at $14,000 a tonne. Other LME metals fell 1 percent to 2
    * SUPPORT: Steel-related commodities were among a handful
that managed to evade the global market rout that followed Wall
Street's biggest decline since 2011.
    * CHINA IMPORTS: Traders noted that the import window for
copper into China is open, potentially supporting prices. One
saw limited inflows given traders will not want to risk holding
stock over the Lunar New Year holidays which start Feb. 15.
    * ALUMINIUM: Russian aluminium giant Rusal plans
to boost the share of value-added products (VAP) to between 50
percent to 52 percent of total aluminium sales this year from 47
percent in 2017 because of strong demand and its new VAP
capacity, it said on Monday.
    * DRC: Mining companies operating in Democratic Republic of
Congo are mounting a coordinated campaign against a new mining
code they say will stifle investment there, Randgold's
chief executive told Reuters.
   * COMING UP: Germany Dec Industrial Orders at 0700 GMT    
   * For the top stories in metals and other news, click       

                                  0547 GMT        
 Three month LME copper                     7066.5
 Most active ShFE copper                     52810
 Three month LME aluminium                    2190
 Most active ShFE aluminium                  14240
 Three month LME zinc                         3492
 Most active ShFE zinc                       26610
 Three month LME lead                         2618
 Most active ShFE lead                       19470
 Three month LME nickel                      13375
 Most active ShFE nickel                    101240
 Three month LME tin                         21615
 Most active ShFE tin                       149750
 LME/SHFE COPPER              LMESHFCUc3    1185.5
 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM           LMESHFALc3    -1683.
 LME/SHFE ZINC                LMESHFZNc3    573.39
 LME/SHFE LEAD                LMESHFPBc3    -345.8
 LME/SHFE NICKEL              LMESHFNIc3    2061.0

($1 = 6.2835 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin and
Christian Schmollinger)

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