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METALS-London copper holds ground ahead of Powell testimony

(Adds Shanghai closing prices, updates London prices) MELBOURNE/BEIJING, Feb 27 (Reuters) - London copper prices inched up on Tuesday, lifted in light trade by a weaker dollar ahead of U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's highly-anticipated first congressional testimony later in the day. Powell's debut appearance is seen as critical for the financial markets, with many investors nervous about the Fed's policy normalization following years of stimulus. London copper has held above the $7,000-a-tonne mark since Feb. 14 and edged up on Monday on the back of strong import data from top metals consumer China. "The positive sentiment in the market looks likely to remain. However, investors will now be focused on economic data, with Chinese PMIs on Wednesday likely to set the tone for the remainder of the week," ANZ wrote in a note. China's official manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) survey will be published on Wednesday, along with a similar official survey covering the services sector.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LONDON COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper edged up 0.1 percent to $7,117.50 a tonne by 0736 GMT, having finished up 0.2 percent in the previous session, and was trading in a tight range from $7,110 to $7,143 a tonne.

* SHANGHAI COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper closed down 0.1 percent at 53,370 yuan ($8,461.36) a tonne, slipping for the second day in a row after an initially strong showing after the Lunar New Year holiday.

* NICKEL: Shanghai nickel was the biggest gainer in the base metals complex, rising by 1 percent to 106,000 yuan a tonne as the dollar slipped and Shanghai rebar prices rose. A weaker greenback makes metals cheaper for holders of other currencies.

* NICKEL: Two of Russia's richest men could trigger a complicated auction known as a "shootout" in a bid to end their long-running battle for control of mining giant Norilsk Nickel (Nornickel).

* CHALCO SHARES: Shares in Aluminum Corp of China Ltd , known as Chalco, slumped by the maximum permitted 10 percent in Shanghai on Tuesday for the second day in a row. The stock only resumed trading on Monday after a 5-1/2-month hiatus.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Global shares held firm near three-week highs on Tuesday as U.S. borrowing costs eased ahead of Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell's awaited first congressional testimony later in the day.

PRICES

BASE METALS PRICES 0736 GMT Three month LME copper 7117.5 Most active ShFE copper 53350 Three month LME aluminum 2150 Most active ShFE aluminum 14285 Three month LME zinc 3531.5 Most active ShFE zinc 26660 Three month LME lead 2578.5 Most active ShFE lead 19480 Three month LME nickel 13985 Most active ShFE nickel 105990 Three month LME tin 21675 Most active ShFE tin 148170

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE

LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 1096.62 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -1466.91 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 293.12 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 -201.06 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 1814.79

($1 = 6.3075 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton and Tom Daly in BEIJING; Editing