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METALS-Copper advances on softer dollar, trade talk hopes

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* Copper on track for biggest weekly jump since Nov.
* Dollar eases, boosting metals
* Zinc backwardation eases (Adds official prices, bullets) By Zandi Shabalala LONDON, Jan 11 (Reuters) - Copper prices climbed on Friday as a dovish stance from the U.S. Federal Reserve pushed the dollar lower, while preparations for more trade talks between Washington and Beijing raised expectations of an easing of tensions. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was bid up 0.3 percent to $5,945 per tonne after failing to trade in official rings, on track for its biggest weekly gain since mid-November.


U.S. officials expect China's top trade negotiator to visit Washington this month, signalling that higher-level discussions are likely to follow this week's talks with mid-level officials in Beijing. The tit-for-tat trade dispute has pushed prices for metals lower on expectations that it could hurt demand, especially from top consumer China. "We started off the year with a series of weak data that
raised concerns about demand, but it's a better environment for base metals at the moment given the progress in trade talks and (the) weaker dollar," Danske Bank commodities analyst Jens Pedersen said.


INTEREST RATES: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell on Thursday reinforced a message of patience on further interest rate increases as officials gauge whether the U.S. economy will slow this year. This helped to push the dollar lower, making dollar-denominated commodities cheaper for non-U.S. firms. INDONESIA TIN: Indonesia exported 5,260.55 tonnes of refined tin last month, an increase of nearly 51 percent from a month earlier, data from the Trade Ministry showed. CHINA: China plans to set a lower economic growth target of 6-6.5 percent in 2019 compared with last year's target of "around" 6.5 percent, policy sources told Reuters, as Beijing gears up to cope with higher U.S. tariffs and weakening domestic demand. ZINC: China's refined zinc production saw its steepest plunge since 2013 last year amid tight raw material supply, longer maintenance periods and the relocation of the country's top smelter, according to Antaike, the research arm of the China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association. ZINC SPREAD: The discount of LME cash zinc to the three-month contract narrowed to $12 a tonne, the smallest since Oct. 15. SUPPLY: Grasberg will produce around 1.2 million tonnes of copper concentrate this year, compared with 2.1 million tonnes in 2018, according to Indonesia's Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry. OTHER METALS: Nickel was the biggest gainer in the base metals complex, rising 1.8 percent to $11,435 per tonne after touching its highest since Nov. 15.


Aluminium eased 1.1 percent to $1,840 per tonne, zinc gained 0.2 percent to $2,465, lead was bid 0.2 percent lower at $1,972, tin added 1 percent to a six-month high of $20,350.
<^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ Top Base and Precious Metals Analysis - GFMS ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^> (Additional reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Alexander Smith and Jason Neely)

zandi.shabalala.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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