* New Caledonia nickel miners seek to step up China
* Codelco sees copper prices avg at $2.40/lb in 2017
* Coming Up: Euro zone Industrial Output for Oct at 1000 GMT
(Adds detail, updates prices)
By Melanie Burton
MELBOURNE, Dec 14 London copper marked time on
Wednesday, up from a near two-week low hit in the previous
session, as the dollar eased and markets waited for Federal
Reserve commentary that may cast fresh light over its outlook
for U.S. interest rate rises next year.
Investors were waiting to see whether the Fed will signal
any acceleration in the pace of future rate increases to deal
with an expected ramp-up in fiscal spending under
President-elect Donald Trump.
"Investors are likely to remain subdued as they await the
FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting," ANZ said in a
Base metals tend to attract investment as an inflation hedge
because prices of real assets rise with inflation, and had
rallied in the immediate aftermath of Trump's election win.
Metals have also been supported by encouraging signs of
demand growth in China and as stocks are withdrawn from global
"Raw material markets remain well bid, while continued
outflows from LME warehouses should see metal prices supported,"
ANZ said in the note.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was
flat at $5,692 a tonne by 0749 GMT, from the previous session
when prices fell 1.3 percent, having hit $5,655.50 a tonne, its
weakest since Dec. 1. Volumes were meagre with less than 1,000
lots of turnover of the benchmark contract.
Shanghai Futures Exchange copper cut early losses
to finish down by 1 percent, at 46,490 yuan ($6,735) a tonne.
Shfe aluminium was down 2.4 percent.
In upbeat demand signals from Asia, Chinese banks extended
794.6 billion yuan ($115.10 billion) in new yuan loans in
November and look set to extend a record amount of credit this
year as Beijing boosts the economy to meet growth targets
despite worries about the risks of prolonged debt-fuelled
In other news, New Caledonia's nickel ore miners have
applied to increase shipments to China after an environmental
crackdown on Philippine mine supply this year caused prices to
spike, four sources familiar with the matter said this week.
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
($1 = 6.9048 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and