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METALS-LME copper holds near 4-month top on demand hopes

Sunday, 29 Dec 2013 | 8:39 PM ET

SINGAPORE, Dec 30 (Reuters) - Copper was little changed on Monday, trading near its highest in more than four months as expectations of economic recovery in top consumer China underpinned the market.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange eased 0.2 percent to $7,365 a tonne by 0120 GMT. Copper climbed to $7,415 a tonne on Friday, its highest since Aug. 16.

* The most-traded March copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange edged down 0.1 percent to 52,210 yuan a tonne.

* China's economic growth is likely to come in at 7.6 percent this year, according to a cabinet report cited by the official Xinhua news agency, just above the government's target of 7.5 percent and slightly below last year's 7.7 percent.

* The country's industrial output is likely to grow by about 9.8 percent in 2013, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said on Friday.

* There is additional support for copper stemming from a lack of readily available metal due to falling exchange stocks.

* LME data showed copper stocks in exchange-registered warehouses dropped to their lowest since January at 370,950 tonnes. <0#MCUSTX-LOC-GRD>

* Still, ample copper concentrate seen flowing into the market next year will eventually feed into more stocks of refined copper, swelling supply and overhanging prices.

* Indonesia will provide exemptions to its 2014 mineral export ban for firms that process ore domestically, the country's mining minister said on Friday, providing some potential relief for mining giants Freeport and Newmont .

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian markets looked to run out the year with a flourish on Monday, with Japanese shares again set to lead the way as the yen skidded to fresh lows for a third straight session.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

1500 U.S. pending home sales for November

1530 Dallas Fed Texas manufacturing index

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

(Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Richard Pullin)