METALS-Copper rallies as shorts cover ahead of weekend

(Adds comment, detail, updates prices) SYDNEY, June 23 (Reuters) - Copper rallied late on Friday as the dollar weakened, forcing shorts to cover positions ahead of the weekend, while zinc fell on profit-taking following this week's surge on supply concerns. "Think it's all momentum buyers, the dollar was weak, which triggered stops at the top of the recent range," a trader said.


* COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper rallied by 1.4 percent to $5,820 a tonne by 0753 GMT. It now faces a ceiling at the 200 moving day average at $5,781 on the weekly charts, and a close above that level could trigger fresh investor flow next week.

* Shanghai Futures Exchange copper rallied 1.5 percent to 46,690 yuan ($6,827) a tonne.

* LME zinc climbed 0.8 percent, bring its weekly gains to 7.7 percent, the best performance in seven months.

* ZINC STOCKS: LME zinc stocks in New Orleans <MZN-USMSY-TOT>, the location with the most metal, are at the lowest in seven years, around 276,000 tonnes. "All eyes will again be on the stocks (both LME and ShFE) later today to determine if (recent price rises are) ... something more sustainable, another meaningful draw could really send zinc parabolic," Marex Spectron said in a report.

* ShFE copper stocks fell by 13,733 tonnes, while ShFE zinc warehouse stocks rose 1610 tonnes, weekly data showed.

* SPREADS: Cash zinc was at a $2.75 discount to the three-month contract from around minus $15 mid-month, indicating supply side stress. <CMZN0-3>

* "The fact spreads tightened and price moved so strongly on good volume should encourage the bulls that this time is different, but we will likely have to wait for Europe to really give us that confirmation," said Marex Spectron.

* CHINA COMMODITIES IMPORTS: China imported sharply lower volumes of refined metal imports in May, but its imports of concentrates and ores rose.

* CROSS SECTOR OUTLOOK: Commodities are on track to end the first half of 2017 down 11 percent, making them as the worst-performing asset class this year, according to JP Morgan. "The second half should deliver limited mean reversion through higher energy prices, lower precious and base metals and higher agricultural commodities," it said in a report.

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* Asian shares balked at the starting gate on Friday but remained on track for a weekly gain, while crude oil prices pulled away from this week's 10-month lows. PRICES

0800 GMT

Three month LME copper 5819.5 Most active ShFE copper 46690 Three month LME aluminum 1875.5 Most active ShFE aluminum 13935 Three month LME zinc 2723.5 Most active ShFE zinc 22255 Three month LME lead 2213 Most active ShFE lead 17445 Three month LME nickel 9170 Most active ShFE nickel 75540 Three month LME tin 19330 Most active ShFE tin 144400 LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 256.29 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -997.46 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 20.8 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 -1053.6



(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Vyas Mohan and Amrutha Gayathri)