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METALS-Copper gains as bearish traders cancel short positions

Kitco News

(Updates prices, adds weaker dollar) By Eric Onstad LONDON, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Copper prices rebounded on Monday as traders cancelled short positions in frustration, but gains were capped by uncertainty about economic growth and high interest rates. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had gained 1.6% to $8,166 per metric ton by 1700 GMT, having shed 1.4% and hit a two-week low on Friday.

U.S. Comex copper futures advanced 2% to $3.66 a lb. "Traders have been playing it from the short side recently and they're getting a little frustrated as it has not really been yielding much so we've been seeing some short-covering," said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen. LME copper prices lost steam after hitting a one-month peak of $8,260 a ton last week. "It's a market that's range-bound and where there's not any aggressive appetite for short-selling, given the fact that buyers already started to emerge ahead of the $8,000 level," Hansen added. Also supporting the metals market was a weaker dollar index amid a flurry of options trading, making commodities priced in the U.S. currency less expensive for buyers using other currencies.

The metals market was still cautious, however, after weak economic data last week from China raised concerns over the demand outlook. Investors will closely monitor a slew of China economic data scheduled to be released this week, including industrial output, urban investment and retail sales for October. "There's persisting concerns of weakness in China and Europe and we're starting to see tentative signs of growth pulse in the United States starting to slow," said Kyle Rodda, a financial market analyst at More stimulus measures from China are still required to spark a meaningful turnaround to copper prices and broader base metals in the short- and medium-term, Rodda added. LME aluminium climbed 0.7% to $2,230 a ton, nickel rose 0.8% to $17,390 and tin gained 1.2% to $24,895 while zinc dropped 0.4% to $2,553 and lead lost 0.5% to $2,170.

For the top stories in metals, click (Reporting by Eric Onstad Additional reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; editing by David Evans, Chizu Nomiyama and Christina Fincher)

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