Off The Wire
METALS-Copper drifts to 1-week low as U.S.-China tensions rekindled
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange closed down 0.6 percent at $6,174 a tonne, after touching $6,142, the lowest since Nov. 28.
* ZINC: LME benchmark zinc rose 1.2 percent to end at $2,619 a tonne, underpinned by shortages in the refined sector that have whittled down inventories.
"The speculative short in zinc is one of the smaller shorts of the complex at 4.4 percent of open interest," Alastair Munro at broker Marex Spectron said in a note.
* ZINC STOCKS/SPREADS: LME zinc inventories fell further to 110,700 tonnes, down more than half since
mid-August to the lowest since January 2008.
The premium of cash zinc over the three-month contract hit another record high of $122 a tonne, indicating
severe shortages of nearby material.
* STEEL: China's construction steel rebar jumped more than 4 percent, providing support to steel-linked metals zinc and nickel. LME nickel added 0.8 percent to finish at $11,225 a tonne.
* BHP/NICKEL: BHP received approval from the local Australian government to develop the Venus nickel mine that will feed its Nickel West battery chemicals business.
* U.S. DOLLAR: The greenback edged up, putting further pressure on metals as commodities priced in dollars became more expensive for holders of other currencies.
* ALUMINIUM TECHNICALS: Aluminium slipped 0.3 percent to close at $1,969 a tonne. However, it recently broke above a descending channel, which opens up a move towards $2,007, Stéphanie Aymes, head of technical analysis at Societe Generale, said in a note. "This must be reclaimed for denoting signs of a larger rebound towards $2,060."
* PRICES: Lead shed 1.2 percent to finish at $1,983 and tin was barely changed, up 0.03 percent at $19,180. <^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Top Base and Precious Metals Analysis - GFMS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> (Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Mark Potter and Kirsten Donovan)
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