METALS-Copper takes breather after 5-day rally; US hopes support
SINGAPORE, Dec 6 (Reuters) - London copper steadied on Thursday after five days of gains fuelled by hopes that U.S. lawmakers would forge a last minute plan to avert a looming "fiscal cliff", building on optimism over accelerating growth in top consumer China.
* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged down 0.22 percent to $8,057 a tonne by 0153 GMT, reversing gains from the previous session when it hit its highest since Oct. 19.
* Copper price have rallied each day for the past week, adding to an advance from two-and-a-half month lows reached Nov 9. to log gains of 6 percent on the year.
* The most-traded March copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was steady at 57,770 yuan ($9,300) a tonne.
* Republicans in Congress and President Barack Obama consumed much of Wednesday talking up their positions on the "fiscal cliff" and though Obama and Republican House Speaker John Boehner spoke by phone, neither side offered any new compromises in public.
* Obama bluntly warned Republican lawmakers on Wednesday that he would not engage in another debt ceiling standoff and predicted a "fiscal cliff" deal could be reached in a week if his opponents would compromise on taxes.
* Annual growth in China's factory output, investment and retail sales may have gained pace in November thanks to recent pro-growth policies, a Reuters poll showed, reducing the chances for further policy support as inflation picks up.
* Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc's decision to diversify into energy highlights the dearth of attractive options available in copper, its main business, but few competitors are likely to follow its lead into unfamiliar territory.
* For the top stories in metals and other news, click , or
* Asian shares were steady near 16-month highs on Thursday, supported by hopes that U.S. lawmakers will reach a compromise to avoid the so-called 'fiscal cliff' of year-end tax hikes and spending cuts which threaten to push the U.S. economy back into recession.
* The euro held its ground in early Asian trade on Thursday after slipping from a seven-week high against the dollar in the previous session, as investors awaited a European Central Bank policy meeting.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1000 Euro zone Revised Q3 GDP 1100 Germany Industrial orders Oct 1200 Britain Bank of England rate decision 1245 Euro zone ECB rate decision 1330 Euro zone ECB news conference 1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims
Base metals prices at 0154 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg LME Cu 8057.00 -18.00 -0.22 6.01 SHFE CU FUT MAR3 57770 10 +0.02 4.35 HG COPPER MAR3 367.35 -1.30 -0.35 6.91 LME Alum 2101.25 -3.75 -0.18 4.02 SHFE AL FUT FEB3 15385 -15 -0.10 -2.90 LME Zinc 2027.00 0.00 +0.00 9.86 SHFE ZN FUT MAR3 15435 00 +0.00 4.33 LME Nickel 17542.00 -8.00 -0.05 -6.24 LME Lead 2235.00 -4.00 -0.18 9.83 SHFE PB FUT 15350.00 -20.00 -0.13 0.43 LME Tin 21745.00 0.00 +0.00 13.26 LME/Shanghai arb^ 998
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months ($1 = 6.2253 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Ed Davies)