METALS-London copper eases but holds near 4-year high

(Updates prices)

SYDNEY, Dec 29 (Reuters) - London copper eased a touch in Asian trading on Friday but held close to a 4-year peak hit overnight amid a bullish outlook for demand and supply uncertainty.

Copper's upward momentum has put the metal used in a wide range of industrial and hi-tech applications on track for its largest annual rise since 2009. Prices in 2017 have galloped more than 30 percent higher.

* COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was quoted at $7,262 a tonne, down 0.3 percent from its close in the more active overnight session of the bourse in which the metal rose to as much as $7,312.50, its highest since January 2014.

* SHFE: The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed 0.09 percent to 55,470 yuan ($8,527.29) a tonne.

IMPORTS: China accounts for about half of global copper demand estimated at around 23.5 million tonnes. Its imports rose to 329,168 tonnes in November, up 19 percent from the same period a year ago.

DEMAND: Analysts say China's copper demand growth may be as high as three percent in 2018 from around two percent this year.

LABOUR: Analysts at Citi say there are over 30 labour contracts, covering around five million tonnes of copper mine supply, due to expire next year, most of them in Chile and Peru.

OTHER METALS: With the exception of lead, the remainder of active ShFE base metals contracts were firmer, led by aluminium, up 2 percent and tin up 1.2 percent.

* DOLLAR WALLOWS: The dollar wallowed near a one-month low against a basket of currencies on Friday, while commodity currencies such as the Australian and Canadian dollars were at two-month highs on firmer energy and metals 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 = 6.5050 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by James Regan; editing by Richard Pullin and Vyas Mohan)