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METALS-London copper sags ahead of outcome of China policy meet

Melanie Burton
Tuesday, 12 Nov 2013 | 3:05 AM ET

* China bonded premiums rise by $5 to $190-$205 -Shmet

* Nickel down 6 pct in November as supply mounts

* Coming Up: India Industrial output at 1200 GMT

(Adds comment, detail, updates prices)

SINGAPORE, Nov 12 (Reuters) - London copper slipped on Tuesday from one-week highs hit the session before, as traders showed caution ahead of indications on policy from top consumers China and the United States.

China's leaders will unveil a reform agenda for the next decade on Tuesday, seeking to balance the need to overhaul the world's second-largest economy as it loses steam with preserving stability.

China accounts for roughly 40 percent of refined metals demand.

Traders are also watching policy direction in the United States, where Janet Yellen is set to defend the Federal Reserve's ultra-easy monetary policy when she faces senators this week.

"If we see any kind of hawkish comments from Yellen, maybe that could be the trigger to test the lower end of the range. A strong U.S. dollar should continue to place downwards pressure on copper for the time being," said analyst Tim Radford of Sydney based advisor Rivkin.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange slipped 0.32 percent to $7,150 a tonne by 0746 GMT, from the previous session when it finished little changed having struck its loftiest in a week at $7,206.75.

The most-traded January copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slipped 0.41 percent to close at 51,390 yuan ($8,400) a tonne.

Reflecting a slight pick-up in copper demand, premiums for copper held in Shanghai bond climbed by $5 to $190-$205 according to China price provider Shmet. (http://www.shmet.com/)

In other metals, ShFe aluminium fell to its lowest since Sept. 30, tracking losses on the LME, while LME lead slipped to its lowest in around a month.

Prospects for aluminum are improving, two producers said in results overnight.

Russia's United Company Rusal said it expected the global aluminium market to fall into deficit of 280,000 tonnes this year due to production cuts as it posted a recurring net loss of $132 million in the three months ended September 2013.

U.S. products maker Novelis Corp said it expects better results in the second half of its fiscal year as it shifts its focus to the better performing automotive sector where aluminium is gaining market share due to its light weight.

But aluminium shares still do not look attractive for some.

Brazilian miner Vale will put up for sale most of its shares in Norwegian aluminium producer Norsk Hydro in a planned exit from an asset it has long considered non-core, the company said on Monday in a securities filing.

Across other metals, LME nickel is the worst performer so far for November, having dropped almost 6 percent this month, and having lost a fifth of its value this year, dogged by oversupply and limp stainless steel sector demand.

PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Three month LME tin

($1 = 6.0913 Chinese yuan)

($1 = 6.0913 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Ed Davies and Richard Pullin)