METALS-Copper rises to near 4-month peak; aluminium close to 2-month high
SINGAPORE, Dec 31 (Reuters) - London copper edged higher on Tuesday to trade around a four-month high and aluminium rose for a third consecutive session to hover near a two-month top as an improved global economic outlook supported metals.
* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.1 percent to $7,381.25 a tonne by 0107 GMT. Copper climbed to $7,415.50 a tonne on Friday, its highest since August 16.
* The most-traded March copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was little changed at 52,300 yuan a tonne.
* Improving global economic outlook and expectations of recovery in top consumer China have underpinned copper prices.
* The metal is also garnering support from a lack of readily available refined metal due to falling exchange stocks.
* LME data on Monday showed copper stocks in exchange-registered warehouses extended their recent decline, dropping to 367,450 tonnes, the lowest since January. <MCUSTX-TOTAL>
* Still, the red metal is down about 7 percent for the year and ample copper concentrate is expected to flow into the market next year to eventually feed into more stocks of refined copper, swelling supply and weighing on prices.
* The large supply situation was reinforced on Monday when top copper producer Chile said its output rose 7.6 percent in November.
* Another headwind for metals prices will be U.S. central bank policy. Citing an improving labour market, the Federal Reserve said earlier this month that it would reduce its commodity-friendly stimulus program, starting in January.
* Many in the market expect a further reduction in the programme soon and a rise in interest rates which could impact housing and automotive markets, both big consumers of metals.
* Aluminium touched its highest level in nearly two months on Monday as consumer buying boosted the market in thin conditions.
* On Tuesday, three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.1 percent 1,823.50 a tonne. It climbed on Monday to $1,839 a tonne, the strongest since Nov. 4.
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* Global stocks are closing out 2013 sitting on sizable gains courtesy of super-easy monetary policies and an improving economic outlook, though some emerging markets have less to crow about as funds return to rich-world assets.
DATA/EVENTS (GMT) 1245 U.S. ICSC chain stores yy Weekly 1400 U.S. CaseShiller 20 mm nsa Dec 1400 U.S. CaseShiller 20 yy Dec 1445 U.S. Chicago PMI Dec 1500 U.S. Consumer confidence Dec 2130 U.S. API weekly crude stocks Weekly 2130 U.S. API weekly dist. stocks Weekly 2130 U.S. API weekly gasoline stk Weekly
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 Tom Hogue)