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METALS--Fresh buying lifts China copper as U.S. dollar weakens, inventories drop

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SYDNEY, Oct 24 (Reuters) - A wave of fresh investment drove Chinese copper futures more than 2 percent higher on Tuesday.

Traders said the weaker U.S. dollar prompted investors to buy into copper contracts on the London Metal Exchange (LME). The lower greenback makes dollar-denominated LME contracts less expensive for holders of other currencies.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was steady at $7,098.50 a tonne by 0245 GMT, maintaining gains from the previous session.

Copper prices breached $7,000 a tonne last week for the first time in more than three years as inventories of metal continue to fall, according to ANZ bank.

LME copper stockpiles are down 10 percent over the past four weeks, with more than 13,000 tonnes of copper warrants cancelled - a sign of further deliveries out of warehouses in coming days, ANZ said.

* SHFE COPPER: The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained just over 2 percent to 55,820 yuan ($8,417) a tonne.

* DOLLAR DOWN: The dollar edged down on Tuesday as attention turned to who would be the next head of the U.S. central bank.

* CHINA REFINED COPPER OUTPUT: Data released on Monday showed China's refined copper output was the highest since December 2014.

* RIO TINTO CLASS ACTION: A U.S. law firm has filed a class action suit against mining giant Rio Tinto,, which is facing U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) fraud charges stemming from an ill-fated investment in Mozambique coal mining.

* CHINA AIR STANDARD: China will strive to comply fully with its own air quality standards by 2035, the country's environment minister said on Monday, adding that the long and difficult battle against pollution would eventually benefit the economy.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares held within striking distance of recent decade highs on Tuesday even as Wall Street fell from record levels, while currencies kept to narrow ranges ahead of key economic events.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0645 France Business climate Oct 0700 France Markit manufacturing PMI flash Oct 0730 Germany Markit manufacturing PMI flash Oct

0900 Euro zone Markit manufacturing PMI flash Oct

1345 U.S. Markit manufacturing PMI flash Oct

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

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin

ARBS ($1 = 6.6317 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)