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METALS-London copper up for 3rd week in four, tight supply supports

Thursday, 12 Dec 2013 | 8:53 PM ET

SINGAPORE, Dec 13 (Reuters) - London copper was set to close higher for the third week in four on Friday as a shortage of refined metal in the physical market underpinned prices, but prospects the Federal Reserve could soon trim its commodity-friendly stimulus dragged.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had edged down 0.33 percent to $7,202.50 a tonne by 0133 GMT, after finishing little changed the previous session.

* Copper prices on Thursday hit their highest since Nov. 4 at $7,250 a tonne, and are on track to log gains of around 1 percent this week.

* The most-traded February copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slipped by 0.25 percent to 51,290 yuan ($8,400) a tonne.

* U.S. retail sales rose solidly in November, adding to signs of a strengthening economy that could draw the Fed closer to reducing the pace of monetary stimulus.

* Traders boosted bets Thursday that the U.S. central bank would deliver its first rate hike in years by June 2015.

* China and other East Asian stock markets will surge next year after a lacklustre performance in 2013, driven by attractive valuations and inflows into the region, a Reuters poll showed.

* Chile's Codelco, the world's largest copper miner, said on Thursday it would implement measures to safeguard production at its massive Chuquicamata mine, where a strike caused the company to halt smelting operations.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian markets were jittery on Friday as investors fret over the outlook for U.S. policy stimulus, though Japanese stocks drew some comfort from a reversal in the yen which slid to a seven-month trough on the dollar.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0700 Germany Wholesale price index

1000 Euro zone Q3 employment

1330 U.S. Producer prices

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 = 6.0711 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Joseph Radford)