METALS-Copper flat, eyes first weekly gain in four on China prospects
SINGAPORE, March 8 (Reuters) - London copper was little changed on Friday but set to log its first weekly gain in four, with China trade data and a U.S. jobs report later in the session expected to underline reviving growth in the world's top two economies.
* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange traded at $7,765 a tonne by 0105 GMT, unchanged from the previous session when it climbed one percent.
* Copper prices shed more than four percent over February and are down two percent for the year. For the week however, prices are set to close up nearly one percent.
* The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.57 percent to 56,730 yuan ($9,100) a tonne.
* Chinese trade figures on Friday are set to lead a flurry of indicators underlining that the world's second-largest economy gathered steam in February, adding some momentum to a recovery from its slowest full-year of growth since 1999.
* Markets have settled after Italy's fractured election result and any threat of contagion to other euro members has been muted, European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said on Thursday, suggesting the bank is in no mood to act.
* The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, suggesting a pick-up in the labor market recovery and the pace of economic growth.
* U.S. President Barack Obama expanded his fledgling search for Republican allies on a possible deficit-reduction deal when he hosted a lunch on Thursday for Paul Ryan, one of the House of Representatives' leading fiscal conservatives.
* An unmanned miniature helicopter and something that looks like a small flying barbecue are among the gadgets turning the mining sector into an emerging frontier in the commercial use of drones, and at a fraction of the costs of piloted craft.
* China's antitrust authority, the last obstacle in the way of Glencore's takeover of Xstrata, has set its sights on copper, in a move that says more about Chinese industrial aims than it does about the trader's market clout.
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* Overnight gains in U.S. stocks underpinned Asian shares on Friday, but prices were capped ahead of key U.S. jobs and Chinese trade figures due later in the session, while the dollar hovered near a 3-1/2-year high against the yen.
* The euro held on to gains early in Asia on Friday, having posted its second biggest one-day rally this year, after the European Central Bank wrong footed investors who had positioned for a more dovish signal from ECB President Mario Draghi.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0200 Japan Bank of Japan policy decision 0745 France Trade balance 0900 Italy Producer prices 1100 Germany Industrial orders 1200 Britain Bank of England bank rate 1245 Euro zone ECB rate decision 1330 European Central Bank President Mario Draghi holds news conference 1330 U.S. International trade 1330 U.S. Weekly jobless claims 2000 U.S. Consumer credit
PRICES Base metals prices at 0105 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg LME Cu 7765.00 0.00 +0.00 -2.07 SHFE CU FUT JUN3 56730 320 +0.57 -1.65 HG COPPER MAY3 352.20 0.15 +0.04 -3.57 LME Alum 1983.00 4.00 +0.20 -4.25 SHFE AL FUT JUN3 15000 80 +0.54 -2.25 LME Zinc 1994.75 4.75 +0.24 -3.33 SHFE ZN FUT JUN3 15345 -200 -1.29 -1.29 LME Nickel 16650.00 0.00 +0.00 -2.94 LME Lead 2214.25 3.25 +0.15 -5.37 SHFE PB FUT 14805.00 10.00 +0.07 -2.92 LME Tin 23655.00 0.00 +0.00 1.09 LME/Shanghai arb^ -221
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
($1 = 6.2202 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin)