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METALS-LME copper prices flat as dollar pares gains; set for weekly drop

(Adds analyst comment, updates prices) BEIJING, March 16 (Reuters) - London copper prices recovered from early losses to trade flat on Friday, with the dollar giving up some of Thursday's gains following reports of another shake-up in the White House. U.S. President Donald Trump has decided to remove H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, the Washington Post reported, taking the dollar lower against the yen. A strong dollar makes metals more expensive for holders of other currencies and can weigh on prices. Incoming White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on Thursday said he would like the dollar to be stronger. Describing copper as the "lightning rod for global investor changes," ANZ said investors "are likely to remain cautious" ahead of next week's Federal Reserve meeting, at which the U.S. central bank is expected to raise interest rates for the first time this year.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was flat at $6,917 a tonne at 0455 GMT, after touching $6,883 earlier in the session. It is on course for a 0.6-percent weekly drop.

* SHFE COPPER: The most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was down 1 percent at 51,870 yuan ($8,198.33) a tonne but on track for a weekly gain of 0.6 percent.

* U.S. DOLLAR: The dollar index versus a group of six major currencies slipped 0.1 percent to 90.074 after climbing 0.5 percent the previous day.

* NICKEL: Nickel was the biggest loser among Shanghai base metals, slipping 1.3 percent to 102,740 yuan a tonne but still up 1.9 percent for the week.

* COPPER: The Democratic Republic of Congo is considering adding copper to its list of strategic minerals in a move that would extract higher fees from mining companies, an adviser to the prime minister said on Thursday.

* TARIFFS: U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom have agreed to meet next week in an attempt to resolve a deepening dispute over trade tariffs, a European Commission source said on Thursday.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian stocks slid on Friday as the reports of more chaos in the Trump administration tested investors' nerves, already frayed by fears that U.S. tariffs could hurt the global economy and trigger a trade war.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0700 Germany Wholesale price index Feb

1000 Euro zone Labour costs Q4

1230 U.S. Housing starts Feb 1230 U.S. Building permits Feb 1315 U.S. Industrial production Feb 1400 U.S. University of Michigan sentiment index Mar

PRICES

0455 GMT

Three month LME copper 6917 Most active ShFE copper 51860 Three month LME aluminum 2088 Most active ShFE aluminum 13930 Three month LME zinc 3226 Most active ShFE zinc 24840 Three month LME lead 2394.5 Most active ShFE lead 18490 Three month LME nickel 13595 Most active ShFE nickel 102740 Three month LME tin 20940 Most active ShFE tin 144520 LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 938.29 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -1401.3 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 681.57 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 78.42 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 1698

($1 = 6.3269 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford)