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METALS-Shanghai copper near highest in 2-1/2 yrs on Chinese demand

MELBOURNE, Nov 20 (Reuters) - Shanghai copper prices hovered near 2-1/2-year highs on Friday, underpinned by strong physical demand in China and hopes of supportive U.S. policies for the metal used in renewable energy under a Joe Biden presidency.

FUNDAMENTALS

* “Physical demand is pretty good in China, in production and in fabrication,” said NAB analyst Lachlan Shaw.

* A string of economic data has reflected strong consumer demand including China’s industrial output which rose at a faster-than-expected pace in October.

* “There are concerns about supply due to COVID-19 and over labour disputes in Chile, as well as building expectations about stimulus and a green energy push from the U.S. under a Biden presidency,” Shaw added. “If anything this year, the impact of COVID-19 has been to push back new projects because the miners reduced crews. And so the market is looking more bullish.”

* A weaker USD also supported gains, as did some monetary stimulus from China at the start of the week.

* Shanghai Futures Exchange copper rose 0.8% to 53240 yuan ($8,098) a tonne, on track for a weekly 2% gain, the most in three months, having this week hit the highest in 2-1/2 years at 53,800.

* London Metal Exchange copper inched up 0.4% to $7,122 a tonne by 0430 GMT, also on track to close the week up near 2-1/2-year highs of $7,179.

* The new Shanghai international copper contract traded up 0.8% with volumes around half the levels seen this time on its market debut on Thursday.

* STRIKES: One of the unions on strike at Chile’s Candelaria copper mine, owned by Canada’s Lundin Mining Corp, rejected a contract offer from the company on Tuesday, confirming the work stoppage would continue.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or

MARKETS NEWS

* World financial markets were hit by a wave of uncertainty on Friday after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin called for an end to coronavirus pandemic relief for struggling businesses, sparking a rare clash between the central bank and Treasury.

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 ($1 = 6.5742 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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