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METALS-Copper eases below $7,000 as dollar strengthens, shares stall

* Dollar strength broadly pressures industrial metals

* GRAPHIC-2017 asset returns: http://tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

* LME/ShFE arb: http://bit.ly/2wZSAEz

(Updates throughout, adds LONDON dateline) LONDON, Oct 25 (Reuters) - Copper eased below $7,000 a tonne on Wednesday as the dollar strengthened and stock markets steadied after a series of record highs, pointing to a more cautious tone among investors. Strength in the dollar, which climbed back towards three-month highs versus the yen on reports that Republican senators are favouring a more hawkish candidate as the next Federal Reserve chief, weighed broadly on commodities prices.

"We had some very good economic data, equity markets at record highs, (and) bond yields moving higher on the back of Trump's proposed tax cuts, so the funds jumped in and used copper to express a positive macro view," Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said. "That took copper above fundamentally justified levels." "It's going to continue to meet resistance around $7,000 and above and get rebuffed, but there will be dip buying by other specs and investors keeping it pretty stable," he added.

* LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal

Exchange was down 0.6 percent at $6,992.50 a tonne at

0950 GMT. Earlier this month it hit a three-year high of $7,177 a tonne.

* U.S. DOLLAR: The dollar rose on a report that Stanford University economist John Taylor, who favours higher interest rates, could be picked to head the Federal Reserve. A stronger dollar makes dollar-denominated commodities more expensive for holders of other currencies.

* COPPER DEFICIT: The copper market should see a deficit of 151,000 tonnes this year and a deficit of 104,000 tonnes in 2018, the International Copper Study Group (ICSG) said on Tuesday.

* CHINA: A private coal mining industry investor in Shanxi province is said to be the main actor behind a dramatic increase in bullish bets in Chinese copper futures.

* TECHNICAL ANALYSIS: A break below $7,009 could cause a loss into the range of $6,924-$6,944, according to Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

* ZINC BACKWARDATION: The premium of cash zinc over the three-month contract <MZN0-3> rose to $68.50, climbing back towards the 10-year high of $91 a tonne it hit two weeks ago. That may indicate shortages in immediately available supply.

* ZINC, LEAD PRICES: LME zinc was 0.3 percent lower

at $3,168 a tonne, while lead was up 0.2 percent at

$2,473.50 a tonne.

* OTHER METALS: LME nickel was down 1.1 percent at $11,865 a tonne, while aluminium was 0.1 percent lower at $2,154

a tonne. Tin was down 0.4 percent at $19,695 a tonne,

off an earlier 10-week low of $19,500 a tonne.

(Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne, Tom Daly in Beijing, editing by David Evans)