METALS-Copper rallies for 3rd day as investors seek inflation hedge

    (Recasts with updated prices)
    By Eric Onstad
    LONDON, Jan 21 (Reuters) - Copper climbed for a third
session on Friday, breaking above the $10,000 a tonne mark as
investors fled from a sliding stock market and sought protection
against rising inflation.
    The metal mainly used in construction and power bounced back
from losses earlier in the day, when risk-off sentiment swept
through financial markets and some investors took the
opportunity to lock in profits.
    Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange         had
gained 0.3% to $10,015 a tonne by 1600 GMT.
    "With the dollar down and stocks not showing any signs of a
recovery, it looks like commodities is where people want to be,"
said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in
Copenhagen.
    ""What we're facing is rising inflation and potentially
weaker growth so I'd rather be in commodities right now than in
stocks or bonds."
    Stock markets dropped as fears about the pace of monetary
policy tightening and weaker-than-expected earnings hit investor
confidence.
    The dollar index        was weaker, making commodities
priced in the U.S. currency cheaper for buyers using other
currencies.
    Copper, often used as a gauge of global economic health, was
on track for a weekly gain of more than 3%, having been
supported by supply concerns, low inventories at exchange
warehouses, and a series of monetary easing measures in top
consumer China.
    Copper's most-traded March contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange          ended daytime trading 0.6% higher at 71,290
yuan ($11,246.61) a tonne.

    * Shanghai nickel          rose as much as 5.2% to a record
179,780 yuan a tonne and LME nickel         advanced 1.4% to
$24,130 a tonne. It touched $24,435 in the previous session, its
highest since August 2011.
    * LME aluminium         shed 1.7% to $3,057 a tonne and zinc
        eased 0.4% to $3,635, but lead         rose 1.2% to
$2,378 and tin         edged up 0.5% to $43,715 after touching a
fresh record of $44,200.
    * Leftist President-elect Gabriel Boric in the world's top
copper producing nation Chile unveiled a moderate first cabinet
on Friday. He appointed lawmaker Marcela Hernando in the key
role of mining minister.
    * LME Chief Executive Matt Chamberlain will step down in
April and take the top job at cryptocurrencies firm Komainu.

    ($1 = 6.3388 yuan)

 (Additional reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru and Enrico
Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Jan Harvey and Louise Heavens)



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