×

METALS-Copper slips as inventories rise, dollar holds gains

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

(Updates throughout, changes dateline from SYDNEY) SYDNEY, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Copper fell to its lowest in nearly two months on Tuesday as inventories rose and the dollar largely held onto the previous session's gains made after U.S. tax bills were pushed through.

Benchmark copper had slipped 2.3 percent to $6,669

per tonne by 1133 GMT, after touching its lowest since Oct. 10 at $6,657.50. "The dollar has managed to come back on relief over the U.S. tax bill reform passing in the Senate," said FOREX.com analyst Fawad Razaqzada. "Because of the strength of the dollar this week we are seeing metal prices which are denominated in dollar coming under pressure," he said.

* DOLLAR: The dollar index , which measures the greenback against a basket of major currencies, eased slightly but was still up 0.2 percent this week. A stronger greenback makes dollar-denominated assets such as copper more expensive for holders of other currencies.

* INVENTORIES: Placing further pressure on copper were inflows of stocks at LME-registered warehouses. Headline stocks in copper <MCUSTX-TOTAL> rose 10,650 tonnes to 192,550 tonnes.

* CHINA SERVICES DATA: The Caixin/Markit services purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 51.9 in November, up from 51.2 in October and the highest reading since August. Razaqzada said the services data had less impact on the prices than Friday's manufacturing data, which came in below expectations.

* TECHNICALS: "Whilst China property concerns remain, steady global growth expectations coupled with on-going mine supply disruptions likely to lend support on dips with $6,550-$6,650 the bottom of a new range," Alastair Munro at broker Marex Spectron said in a note.

* 2018 METALS OUTLOOK: BMI Research said it expects industrial metal prices in 2018 to consolidate due to a marked slowdown in China's metals consumption growth. "In particular, we see metals such as steel, aluminum and copper at risk of a supply crunch as the government looks to curb production growth and potentially ban imports of scrap for environmental reasons," BMI said.

* CHINA ALUMINIUM: Henan Mingtai Aluminum , one of China's biggest aluminum sheet makers, said it expected production and sales to keep growing in 2018 despite the launch of U.S. trade probes into imports of the product from China.

Benchmark LME aluminum eased 0.4 percent to $2,061

per tonne.

* NICKEL: Three-month nickel on the LME was down 2.4 percent at 11,110 a tonne, reversing the previous sessions 0.8 percent gain.

(Additional reporting by James Regan in SYDNEY; Editing by David Evans)