METALS-Copper climbs on robust US factory data, China uncertainty caps
SINGAPORE, Jan 17 (Reuters) - London copper inched up on Thursday following a four-session losing streak, with robust U.S. factory data bolstering the outlook for demand, but caution ahead of Chinese growth figures this week tempered gains.
* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had risen 0.30 percent to $7,970 a tonne by 0105 GMT, reversing losses from the previous session when it fell to its lowest since Dec. 31 at $7,920 a tonne.
* Copper prices rallied in early January to 2-1/2 month highs near $8,250 a tonne, but have since struggled to find momentum, weighed down by tepid demand ahead of China's Lunar New Year holiday and more plentiful supply than previous years.
* The most-traded April copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slipped by 0.19 percent to 57,830 yuan ($9,300) a tonne.
* The U.S. economy ended 2012 on a surprisingly sound note as factory output climbed and low inflation lifted consumers' purchasing power, signs the economy may be able to weather the higher tax bills that rang in the new year.
* Economic activity across the United States expanded at either a moderate or modest pace in recent weeks with consumer spending picking up, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday, suggesting little change in terms of the recovery's strength.
* European Central Bank Governing Council member Ewald Nowotny said he did not share Eurogroup head Jean-Claude Juncker's concern about the euro's strength, noting the ECB targeted price stability rather than exchange rates.
* Traders are bracing for a slew of economic reports from China on Friday, including fourth-quarter GDP, December industrial output, retail sales and house prices.
* Japanese smelter Pan Pacific Copper and major miners have agreed a more than 10 percent increase in copper concentrate treatment and refining charges for 2013, from $63.50 a tonne last year, a source said on Wednesday.
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* Asian shares consolidated on Thursday as better-than-expected U.S. earnings lifted sentiment.
* The euro struggled to regain its momentum on Thursday even after a top European central banker sounded relaxed about its recent run higher, while the yen hovered at one-week peaks, still underpinned by a wave of short-covering.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1330 U.S. Housing starts Dec 1330 U.S. Building permits Dec 1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims 1500 U.S. Philadelphia Fed index Jan
Base metals prices at 0105 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg LME Cu 7970.00 24.00 +0.30 0.52 SHFE CU FUT APR3 57830 -110 -0.19 0.26 HG COPPER MAR3 362.25 1.60 +0.44 -0.82 LME Alum 2052.50 7.50 +0.37 -0.89 SHFE AL FUT APR3 15235 -20 -0.13 -0.72 LME Zinc 1989.50 10.50 +0.53 -3.59 SHFE ZN FUT APR3 15265 -280 -1.80 -1.80 LME Nickel 17435.00 35.00 +0.20 1.63 LME Lead 2274.00 8.00 +0.35 -2.82 SHFE PB FUT 0.00 -15170.00 -100.00 -100.00 LME Tin 24995.00 0.00 +0.00 6.82 LME/Shanghai arb^ 134
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months ($1 = 6.2165 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Joseph Radford)