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METALS-London copper eyes best week in over 1 year on growth prospects

MELBOURNE, Feb 16 (Reuters) - London copper edged up in thin trade on Friday amid China's new year holidays and was on track for its strongest weekly gain in more than one year, backed by resilient global manufacturing growth and a persistently weak dollar.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper had inched up by 0.2 percent to $7,194.50 a tonne by 0220 GMT, after small gains in the previous session. Prices were on track for a 6.5 percent weekly rise, the biggest weekly rally since November 2016. Prices hit four-year highs at $7,312.50 a tonne in late January.

* VOLUMES: Turnover was extremely light with a less than 300 lots among the major benchmark contracts amid a week-long holiday in top metals user China.

* CHINESE NEW YEAR: The Shanghai Futures Exchange was closed for a second day and will reopen on Thursday, Feb. 22. Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Vietnam are also closed on Friday for a public holiday.

* GOLD: Gold was set for its biggest weekly gain in nearly two years.

* DOLLAR: The dollar languished near a three-year low against a basket of currencies and was headed for its biggest weekly loss in nine months, as a slew of bearish factors offset support for the U.S. currency from rising Treasury yields amid firming inflation.

* The U.S. currency has been weighed down by a variety of factors this year, including concerns that Washington might pursue a weak dollar strategy and the perceived erosion of its yield advantage as other countries start to scale back their easier monetary policy.

* A weaker dollar benefits commodities by making them more affordable for buyers paying with other currencies.

* US ECONOMY: U.S. producer prices accelerated in January, boosted by strong gains in the cost of gasoline and healthcare, offering more evidence that inflation pressures were building up. Economists were also unfazed by an unexpected dip in industrial production last month, citing strong business sentiment surveys.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares extended their recovery from two-month lows into a fifth day on Friday as the Wall Street market volatility gauge fell, while the U.S. dollar was undermined by various worries including rising inflation.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0700 Germany Wholesale price index Jan

0930 UK Retail sales Jan

1330 U.S. Housing starts Jan

1330 U.S. Building permits Jan

1330 U.S. Import prices Jan

1330 U.S. Export prices Jan

1500 U.S. University of Michigan sentiment index Feb

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

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)