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London copper at 9-1/2-yr high on dollar weakness, demand pick up hopes

London copper prices extended gains on Monday to cross the $9,000-a-tonne level for the first time since September 2011, driven by a weaker dollar and hopes that demand in top consumer China will pick up after the Lunar New Year holiday break.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange climbed as much as 4% to $9,269.50 a tonne.

The contract had risen 2.3% to $9,118 a tonne at 0738 GMT, only 10.5% below the all-time high of $10,190 a tonne touched in February 2011.

The most-traded April copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended up 6% at 67,370 yuan ($10,418.79) a tonne, its highest since August 2011.

“With the Lunar New Year holidays having just ended, we expect pricing to rise,” said Canaccord Genuity analysts in a note, referring to China’s holidays from Feb. 11 to 17.

“While some of the latest moves appear to be speculative, the key sentiment drivers remain the same,” the note said, adding that liquidity, stimulus, weaker dollar and limited supplies also lent support to the red metal.

The dollar fell to a three-year low, making greenback-priced LME metals cheaper to holders of other currencies.


* LME cash copper was at a $37.25-a-tonne premium over the three-month contract , the highest since Sept. 18, indicating tight nearby supplies.

* Strong demand and low inventories coupled with supply and shipping disruptions in the tin market will likely support prices in the near term.

* ShFE tin leaped as much as 9% to a record high of 194,680 yuan a tonne. LME tin hit its highest since August 2011 at $27,000 a tonne.

* LME nickel rose 1.1% to $19,795 a tonne, while ShFE nickel advanced 3% to 146,230 yuan a tonne and SHFE zinc gained 2.2% to $21,980 a tonne.

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Source: Reuters (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Vinay Dwivedi)

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