METALS-London copper edges up as Syria worries weigh on dollar
SINGAPORE, Aug 28 (Reuters) - London copper edged up on Thursday on the prospect of improving Chinese demand and as the dollar eased with some investors switching to safe-haven currencies amid mounting geopolitical tensions over Syria.
* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had inched up 0.18 percent to $7,328 a tonne by 0122 GMT. It fell 0.6 percent the session before.
* Copper prices have rallied more than 10 percent from three year lows touched in late June on expectations of a revival in demand from top consumer China. But momentum has eased, leaving prices down nearly 8 percent for the year.
* The most-traded December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slipped by 0.15 percent to 52,780 yuan ($8,600) a tonne.
* The United States and its allies were gearing up on Tuesday for a probable military strike against Syria that could happen within days as punishment for last week's chemical weapons attacks blamed on President Bashar al-Assad's government.
* U.S. home prices rose in June but the pace of gains cooled, suggesting higher mortgage rates may end up slowing momentum in the housing sector as the year winds down.
* The Hong Kong Stock Exchange named industry veteran Garry Jones as the CEO of the London Metal Exchange, banking on a former top executive at the NYSE Liffe to help drive its expansion into commodities and beyond.
* Iran has hiked purchases of alumina from China and India in the past two months as the country scrambles to shore up supply after the U.S. tightened sanctions on raw and semi-processed materials at the start of July.
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* Jitters over a possible U.S.-led military strike against the Syrian government knocked Asian equities on Wednesday, with Japan's Nikkei hitting a two-month low, and pushed oil prices and safe-haven gold to multi-month highs.
* The safe-haven yen held at one-week highs against the dollar and euro early in Asia on Wednesday.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 0600 Germany Gfk consumer sentiment 0600 Germany Import prices 0800 Euro zone M3 money supply 1400 U.S. Pending home sales 1430 U.S. EIA weekly crude stocks
PRICES Base metals prices at 0122 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg LME Cu 7328.00 13.00 +0.18 -7.58 SHFE CU FUT DEC3 52780 -80 -0.15 -8.50 HG COPPER SEP3 3.33 0.01 +0.15 -99.09 LME Alum 1886.00 -1.00 -0.05 -8.93 SHFE AL FUT DEC3 14445 -05 -0.03 -5.87 LME Zinc 1977.25 -5.75 -0.29 -4.18 SHFE ZN FUT DEC3 15120 -425 -2.73 -2.73 LME Nickel 14478.00 53.00 +0.37 -15.60 LME Lead 2228.00 4.00 +0.18 -4.79 SHFE PB FUT 14865.00 10.00 +0.07 -2.52 LME Tin 21825.00 0.00 +0.00 -6.73 LME/Shanghai arb^ -388
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
($1 = 6.1217 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Joseph Radford)