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METALS-Copper steady despite Escondida strike ending
March 23, 2017 / 4:58 PM / 7 months ago

METALS-Copper steady despite Escondida strike ending

* Work to resume at world’s top copper mine

* Strike lasted 43 days, copper steady (Updates with closing prices)

By Zandi Shabalala

LONDON, March 23 (Reuters) - Copper steadied on Thursday, but was still near one-week lows on news that operations at the world’s top producing copper mine in Chile would resume.

Workers at BHP Billiton’s Escondida mine agreed to go back to work on Saturday, ending a 43-day stoppage.

Supply disruptions have underpinned copper as two other large mines had shut due to labour disputes.

“There might have been some anticipation to this outcome as talks started this week, so it was largely already in the price,” said Nitesh Shah, base metals analyst at ETF Securities.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER: Copper ended 0.2 percent higher at $5,825 a tonne, after briefly touching a session low of $5,768. It hit the lowest since March 10 at $5,715 the previous session.

* ZINC fell to a one-week low, down 1.5 percent at $2,814 a tonne despite a spate of mine disruptions.

* CHINA PREMIUMS: Premiums for copper and zinc deliveries in Shanghai fell. Zinc premiums fell $10 to $105-$115, the lowest since August 2015, while Shanghai copper premiums have fallen to around $45, traders and analysts said, the lowest in around a year.

* PERU: Brazilian group Votorantim has halted operations at its zinc smelter Cajamarquilla in Peru while miner Milpo , declared force majeure on Wednesday due to the floods.

* ZINC STRIKE: A 3-1/2-week strike at Noranda Income Fund’s zinc processing facility in Quebec is showing no signs of ending, with no talks set between workers and management.

* LEAD: was unchanged at $2,367 a tonne.

* NICKEL: added 0.1 percent to $10,030 a tonne, while aluminium firmed 0.6 percent to $1,933

* TIN: was down 0.8 percent at $20,275 a tonne.

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

Additional reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin and David Evans

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