March 6, 2015 / 2:02 AM / in 3 years

METALS-Copper eyes small weekly loss as stronger dollar drags

MELBOURNE, March 6 (Reuters) - London copper was set for a small loss this week as a stronger dollar broadly dented appetite for commodities, with traders saying it was still too soon after China’s Lunar New Year break to accurately gauge demand in the world’s top user of metals.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had eased 0.4 percent to $5,810 a tonne by 0121 GMT, after closing little changed in the previous session. Prices were facing a weekly loss of around 1.4 percent, their biggest such decline in six weeks.

* The most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slipped by 0.2 percent to 42,340 yuan ($6,757) a tonne.

* LME lead sank by around 1 percent, eroding gains of around 2.5 percent from the previous session, but still looked set to notch its biggest weekly gain since May 2013, at more than 4 percent.

* China plans to run its biggest budget deficit in 2015 since the global financial crisis, stepping up spending as Premier Li Keqiang signalled that the lowest rate of growth in a quarter of a century is the “new normal” for the world’s No.2 economy.

* The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment aid last week rose to its highest level since May, but economists dismissed the increase as weather-related and said the jobs market remained solid.

* European Central Bank President Mario Draghi outlined its quantitative easing programme at a press conference following a scheduled policy meeting. He left the door open for more bond purchases beyond September 2016.

* With U.S. jobs data on tap, economists polled by Reuters are looking for U.S. nonfarm payrolls to have grown by 240,000 jobs in February, down from 257,000 in January. The unemployment rate, on the other hand, is expected to have ticked lower to 5.6 percent from January’s 5.7 percent.

* The Chilean government and congressional lawmakers agreed this week to work together to try to pass legislation to protect the country’s glaciers, a move that could hinder development of mining projects in the world’s No. 1 copper exporter.

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

MARKETS NEWS

* The euro fell to an 11-1/2-year low against the dollar on Thursday as U.S. and euro zone bond prices rose, after the European Central Bank spelled out its 1 trillion-euro stimulus plan that begins next Monday.

DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0700 Germany Industrial output Jan

0745 France Trade data Jan

1000 Euro zone Revised GDP Q4

1330 U.S. Nonfarm payrolls Feb

1330 U.S. Unemployment rate Feb

1330 U.S. International trade Jan

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

Three month LME tin

$1 = 6.2658 Chinese yuan renminbi Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Joseph Radford

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