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London copper holds steady as Russian-Ukrainian tensions ease

Feb 16 (Reuters) – Copper prices in London held steady on Wednesday on signs of easing Russian-Ukrainian tensions, offsetting pressure from expectations of an aggressive interest rate hike by the U.S. central bank.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was little changed at $9,971 a tonne, as of 0325 GMT, while March’s most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0, 8% to 71,460 yuan ($11,269.87) per ton.

On Tuesday, Russia said it was returning some troops to base after drills, bolstering sentiment in financial markets. Read more

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Meanwhile, data showed U.S. producer prices rose the most in eight months in January, another sign of high inflation. Financial markets have priced in a more than equal chance that the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates in March by half a percentage point. Read more

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME aluminum rose 0.1% to $3,210 a tonne, nickel gained 0.4% to $23,390, lead fell 0.4% to $2,300 and zinc rose 0.2% to $3,588.

* Aluminum ShFE rose 0.1% to 22,595 yuan per ton, nickel 0.9% to 173,260 yuan, zinc 0.4% to 25,025 yuan, lead 0.1% at 15,320 yuan and tin by 1.3% at 332,610 yuan.

* Copper stocks in LME licensed warehouses fell to 70,125 tonnes, the lowest since November 2005.

* China’s copper cathode output from major smelters in January fell 7.49% from the previous month due to maintenance and the holiday season, research firm Antaike, backed by the Institute, said on Tuesday. State.

* MMG Ltd (1208.HK) plans to increase production to normal levels at its Las Bambas copper mine in Peru after a group of local communities agreed to a 45-day truce with the government.

* China’s factory gate inflation slowed to its slowest pace in six months in January, official data showed on Wednesday, as government measures to control soaring raw material costs weighed on producer prices. Read more

* For top metal stories and other news, click or

MARKET NEWS

* The euro held on to overnight gains in early Asian trade on Wednesday after jumping on reports that some Russian forces had moved away from the Ukrainian border, although, with tensions still high, the common currency failed to make further progress.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0130 China PPI, CPI AA Jan.

0700 United Kingdom IPC AA Jan.

1330 US retail sales MM Jan

1415 American Industrial Production MM Jan

1900 The Federal Open Market Committee of the United States

publish the minutes of its political meeting of January 25 and 26

($1 = 6.3408 Chinese yuan renminbi)

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Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.