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London copper edges up on weak dollar, hopes of easing Ukraine tensions

London copper prices edged higher on Monday, supported by a weaker dollar, while prospects of a de-escalation in Russia-Ukraine tensions bolstered appetite for risky assets.

U.S. President Joe Biden and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed in principle to a summit over Ukraine, U.S. and French leaders said. One condition for the summit was that Putin did not invade Ukraine.

Asian share markets pared sharp early losses and Wall St futures rallied following the news. MKTS/GLOB

Three-month copper CMCU3 on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 0.3% at $9,985.5 a tonne as of 0255 GMT, while the most-traded March copper contract SCFcv1 on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was steady at 71,540 yuan ($11,312.64) a tonne.

The dollar index =USD dipped 0.3%, making the greenback-denominated metal cheaper for holders of other currencies.

* LME aluminium CMAL3 eased 0.2% to $3,254.5 a tonne, lead CMPB3 slipped 1% to $2,324.5, zinc CMZN3 was flat at $3,576 and tin CMSN3 dipped 0.2% to $44,045. Nickel CMNI3 rose 0.5% to $20,435 a tonne, having earlier hit its highest since August 2011.

* ShFE aluminium SAFcv1 fell 0.9% to 22,540 yuan a tonne, nickel SNIcv1 rose 1% to 178,340 yuan, zinc SZNcv1 shed 1.4% to 24,800 yuan, lead SPBcv1 was down 0.9% at 15,350 yuan and tin SSNcv1 dipped 0.2% to 336,600 yuan.

* Nickel stocks in LME-registered warehouses MNISTX-TOTAL have fallen about 69% since April last year to 83,328 tonnes, while the premium for cash nickel over the three-month contract rose to $465 a tonne on Friday. MNI0-3

* Data last week showed copper inventories in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 27.9% to 136,300 tonnes from the previous week.

* Indonesia’s PT Smelting, a joint venture between Mitsubishi Materials Corp 5711.T and Freeport Indonesia, on Saturday launched construction of a 3.2 trillion rupiah ($223 million) expansion of its East Java copper smelting facility.

* Federal Reserve officials on Friday squelched what had been rising market expectations for an aggressive initial response to 40-year-high U.S. inflation, signalling that steady interest rate hikes should be enough to do the trick.

* The state planner in China, the biggest metals consumer, said on Friday it will take steps to stabilise the commodity market and hasten construction of new infrastructure, in the effort to promote steady industrial growth.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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