* Robust China trade data a promising sign for global growth
* Nerves hold over possible tapering of U.S. stimulus
* Indonesia tin shipments up 28 percent in November
By Maytaal Angel
LONDON, Dec 9 (Reuters) - Copper was little changed on
Monday after posting near 1 percent gains last week, helped by
upbeat trade data from top consumer China and cautious optimism
that the world's markets can cope with a gradual withdrawal of
China's imports of copper rose 7.1 percent to 435,613 tonnes
in November from 406,708 tonnes in the previous month, while the
country's exports handily beat forecasts in November, adding to
recent evidence of economic stabilisation.
China consumes around 40 percent of the world's copper.
In the U.S. meanwhile, a solid jobs report on Friday may
have brought forward the day when the Federal Reserve starts
tapering its asset buying, though markets have taken the view
the economy is recovering well enough to withstand the move.
"Copper is trading at top of its range since mid-November,
its reluctant to break through but I think it will - the data
backdrop has been positive, the forward curve suggests
tightness, warehouse stocks are trending lower, everything is
aligned for it to have a go on the upside," said Societe
Generale analyst Jesper Dannesboe.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had
slipped 0.13 percent to $7,113 a tonne by 1126 GMT, after
hitting a near one month high of $7,140.50 a tonne on Friday.
All other base metals save for nickel hit multi-week highs.
Copper has been trading in a range of $6,602-$7,420 a tonne
since June, and is looking to record falls of nearly 10 percent
The U.S. Federal Reserve will host its key policy meeting
next week, with the central bank having had considerable success
to date convincing investors that tapering is not tightening,
and that interest rates will remain low for a long time to come.
"There is a growing perception that tapering is no longer
the end of the recovery," said Natixis analyst Nic Brown.
"We see $7,600 a tonne as a reasonable target in the very
short-term. There is a high probability of a real physical
shortage ... before we get to this panacea of abundant new mine
supply at some time next year."
Investors meanwhile remain bearish on copper, but have
started to close out positions ahead of the year-end.
Hedge funds and money managers trimmed the market's short
position in copper by 422 contracts to a net short of 19,316,
data by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission showed on
In other metals, refined tin shipments from top exporter
Indonesia rose to 5,192.86 tonnes in November, up 28 percent
from 4,069.77 tonnes in October, a trade ministry official said
Tin traded up 0.28 percent to $23,215 a tonne,
having hit its highest since late October earlier, while
aluminium rose 0.67 percent at $1,791 a tonne, having
earlier hit a two-week high.
Zinc rose 0.84 percent at $1,921 a tonne, having
earlier hit its highest since early November, while lead
rose 0.66 percent to $2,107.50 a tonne, having earlier reached
its highest in around two weeks.
Three month LME copper CMCU3
Most active ShFE copper SCFcv1
Three month LME aluminium CMAL3
Most active ShFE aluminium SAFcv1
Three month LME zinc CMZN3
Most active ShFE zinc SZNcv1
Three month LME lead CMPB3
Most active ShFE lead SPBcv1
Three month LME nickel CMNI3
Three month LME tin CMSN3