METALS-Copper prices weighed down by firmer dollar, inventory build-up

    (Adds comments, updates prices)
    By Eileen Soreng
    Jan 18 (Reuters) - Copper prices eased on Tuesday as a
firmer U.S. dollar made the greenback-priced metal expensive for
holders of other currencies, and higher inventories in London
Metal Exchange-registered warehouses eased some fears of supply
tightness.
    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange         was
down 0.1% at $9,720 a tonne, as of 0715 GMT. The most-traded
March copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange
ended daytime trading down 0.2% at 70,100 yuan ($11,048.59) a
tonne.
    "The market is in consolidation mode... If inventory builds
turn out to be smaller than expected, or we even start to see
inventory drawdown post Lunar New Year, I believe investors then
will be more comfortable to (go) long again," a Singapore-based
trader said.
    LME copper inventories were at 92,500 tonnes,
their highest level since November 2021.
    "An upward movement in copper prices may be triggered in the
medium- to long-term due to faster adoption of electric vehicles
worldwide," said Kunal Sawhney, chief executive officer of
Kalkine Group.
    The dollar        strengthened 0.1%, as traders continued to
hold on to dollars but took the view that Federal Reserve
tightening plans were largely priced in.


    FUNDAMENTALS
    * LME aluminium         rose 0.6% to $3,015 a tonne, nickel
        was up 1.2% at $22,330, lead         eased 0.1% to
$2,353.5 and zinc         gained 0.6% to $3,529.5. Tin
climbed 1.7% to $41,980 a tonne, having earlier hit a record
high of $42,000.
    * ShFE aluminium          was up 1% at 21,290 yuan a tonne,
nickel          rose 0.9% to 164,170 yuan, zinc          edged
0.2% higher to 24,595 yuan and lead          inched 0.1% lower
to 15,615 yuan. Tin          climbed 4% to 317,600 yuan a tonne,
having earlier hit a record high of 319,700 yuan.
    * "Tin may have more steam left as the demand for this
soldering agent will not see any downtick... In the near-term,
if China's tin inventories can ease some supply side pressures,
a short-term downward pressure on tin prices may be observed,"
Sawhney said.
    * The premium for cash nickel over the three-month contract
surged to $495 per tonne, the highest since April 2009,
suggesting tightness in nearby supplies. Nickel inventories in
LME-registered warehouses were at 97,038 tonnes,
the lowest in more than two years.
    * Swedish mining and smelting group Boliden          expects
to resume nickel production at its Harjavalta smelter in the
near future, it said on Monday.
    * Leaders of a group of Peruvian communities said in a
public hearing on Monday that they rejected a government
proposal to prevent future blockades affecting MMG Ltd's (MMLTF)
          Las Bambas copper mine.
    * For the top stories in metals and other news, click
          or


($1 = 6.3447 Chinese yuan)

 (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; editing by
Uttaresh.V, Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Subhranshu Sahu)



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