METALS-LME copper off 2-month low, heads for worst week since mid-2012
SINGAPORE, Feb 22 (Reuters) - LME copper edged up on Friday from two-month lows hit in the prior session, but was set to log its biggest weekly drop in about nine months on worries about the U.S. central bank's commitment to its current accommodative monetary policy.
* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rallied by 0.62 percent to $7,908.50 a tonne by 0113 GMT, reversing losses from the previous session when it hit its lowest since Dec. 24 at $7,813.50 a tonne
* Copper prices saw their biggest single-day slide this year on Thursday and have erased year to date gains of nearly five percent at the start of the month to fall into the red this year. For the week, prices are set to drop more than 3 percent, the steepest fall since the middle of last year.
* The most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.05 percent to 57,640 yuan ($9,200) a tonne.
* A raft of U.S. economic data on Thursday from claims for jobless aid to factory activity and consumer prices pointed to a still tepid recovery and supported the argument for the Federal Reserve to maintain its monetary stimulus.
* President Barack Obama spoke to Republican congressional leaders on Thursday in the first sign of movement toward heading off across-the-board government spending cuts that could go into effect in a week.
* U.S. Federal Reserve officials are likely to press on with their bond-buying stimulus program even though some harbour growing concerns the purchases could fuel an asset bubble or inflation if pushed too far.
* Canada's Inmet Mining Corp, the target of a hostile takeover bid by First Quantum Minerals Ltd, reported a 17 percent drop in quarterly profit on Thursday as foreign exchange losses and other costs offset stronger operating results.
* For the top stories in metals and other news, click , or
* Asian shares edged higher on Friday, recouping the previous day's steep losses, while weak U.S. and European data clouded growth prospects, limiting gains.
* The dollar traded near a 5-1/2-month high against a basket of currencies on Friday, on doubts over just how long the U.S. Federal Reserve will keep its quantitative easing in place.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0130 China Housing prices 0700 Germany Detailed Q4 GDP 0900 Germany Ifo business climate 1000 Italy Consumer confidence PRICES
Base metals prices at 0113 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg LME Cu 7908.50 48.50 +0.62 -0.26 SHFE CU FUT MAY3 57640 30 +0.05 -0.07 HG COPPER MAR3 357.55 2.25 +0.63 -2.11 LME Alum 2078.50 2.50 +0.12 0.36 SHFE AL FUT MAY3 14965 30 +0.20 -2.48 LME Zinc 2129.25 17.25 +0.82 3.19 SHFE ZN FUT MAY3 15705 160 +1.03 1.03 LME Nickel 16900.00 270.00 +1.62 -1.49 LME Lead 2332.00 6.00 +0.26 -0.34 SHFE PB FUT 15210.00 10.00 +0.07 -0.26 LME Tin 23125.00 0.00 +0.00 -1.18 LME/Shanghai arb^ 101
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months ($1 = 6.2405 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Himani Sarkar)