METALS-Copper prices ease as dollar clings on to gains

(Updates prices)

LONDON, Dec 3 (Reuters) - Copper eased on Friday as the dollar firmed despite underwhelming U.S. jobs data that tempered expectations for a quick monetary policy tightening, though supply issues limited losses.

Markets were also on the edge due to the Omicron variant of the coronavirus, with countries introducing new restrictions to slow its spread which could potentially derail the global economic recovery.

"Copper and other base metals are holding up well despite the bearish news like the new variant, China slowdown, and potential tightening by the Federal Reserve," said Gianclaudio Torlizzi, partner at consultancy T-Commodity in Milan.

He said he was advising clients to hedge and gain long exposure to the industrial metals complex.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) lost 0.2% to $9,476 per tonne in 1400 GMT, set to end the week mostly unchanged.

A stronger U.S. currency makes dollar-denominated commodities more expensive for non-U.S. firms, a relationship used by funds to generate buy and sell sign.

INVENTORIES: Visible stocks of copper in exchange warehouses eased, pointing to a firm demand for the metal used in power and construction.

In warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange, copper stocks shed 13.7% to 36,110 tonnes, according to weekly data.

Copper stocks in LME-registered warehouses, at 78,350 tonnes, are about a third of the levels registered in late August.

PERU: Miner MMG Ltd said on Friday it would wind down copper production from its Las Bambas operations in Peru by mid-December after failing to establish commercial relationships with local community organisations.

The mine produced 400,000 tonnes of copper a year, about 2% of the total global output.

EVERGRANDE: Indebted real estate developer China Evergrande has got a demand under a $260 million guarantee obligation, the company said on Friday, adding it may be unable to repay due to a liquidity crisis that has gripped China's property sector.

The sector is one of the largest users of copper globally.

CHILE OUTPUT: Chile's Codelco, the world's largest copper miner, saw output in October drop 9.9% year-on-year to 144,100 tonnes, state copper commission Cochilco said.

OTHER METALS: LME aluminium gained 1.2% to $2,633 a tonne, zinc added 0.7% to $3,167, lead shed 1.2% to $2,230, tin was up 0.6% to $39,250 while nickel was up 0.6% at $20,070. (Reporting by Zandi Shabalala; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Vinay Dwivedi)

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