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Copper Leads Losses on Firm Dollar

Feb 11 (Reuters) - London base metals fell in Asian trading on Friday, led by copper, as the dollar firmed after a stronger-than-expected U.S. inflation data stoked worries about a more aggressive policy tightening by the Federal Reserve.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 3% at $9,943.50 a tonne, as of 0613 GMT, after three days of gains that propelled the metal to its strongest level in nearly four months.

On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, the most-traded March copper contract dropped 0.6% to 71,550 yuan ($11,247.88) a tonne, erasing early gains that had driven it to its highest since Oct. 21

"The red metal is standing in front of a race between a growing hawkishness from the Federal Reserve and more pro-growth China policies," said ING senior commodities strategist Wenyu Yao.

LME base metals, however, were on track for weekly gains, led by aluminium, which was supported earlier this week amid worries about smelter shutdowns in China and Europe and low inventories at exchange warehouses.


* LME aluminium , which scaled to its highest level in more than 13 years on Thursday, shed 2% to $3,186, while Shanghai aluminium dropped 2% to 22,785 yuan a tonne, on track for its first loss in eight sessions.

* New aluminium arrivals in LME warehouses sent on-warrant stockpiles soaring by 42% to 595,150 tonnes, data showed on Thursday.

* The U.S. dollar oscillated against other currencies before turning broadly firmer in the Asia session, making the greenback-denominated commodity more expensive for those holding other currencies. 

* The U.S. central bank is facing increasing pressure to take a stronger stand against inflation following an unexpectedly large jump in U.S. consumer prices in January. 

* Indonesia has suspended the operations of more than 1,000 miners of coal, tin and other minerals due to a failure to submit 2022 work plans, according to a document reviewed by Reuters issued by the Minerals and Coal Directorate of the mining ministry.

* Shanghai zinc rose 0.5% to 25,685 yuan a tonne, nickel climbed 0.6% to 173,940, lead gained 0.7% to 15,250 yuan, and tin advanced 0.7% to 337,210 yuan.

* LME zinc fell 1.1% to $3,662 a tonne, nickel shed 1% to $23,295, lead slipped 0.3% to $2,272, and tin dropped 0.4% to $44,000.

($1 = 6.3612 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

Source: Reuters

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