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METALS-Copper hits 3-1/2-week low, nickel slides more than 5 pct

From Reuters - January 16, 2018

* GRAPHIC-2018 asset returns: tmsnrt.rs/2jvdmXl

* LME/ShFE arb: bit.ly/2wZSAEz (Adds official midday prices)

By Maytaal Angel

LONDON, Jan 16 (Reuters) - Base metals slid on Tuesday with copper and nickel hitting multi-week lows as profit-taking set in following strong gainslate last year, a steadier dollar weighed and worries lingered over fading demand in China before the Lunar New Year.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was last bid down 2 percent in official midday rings at $7,063 a tonne, having hit its weakest since Dec. 22 at $7,035.

Stainless steel ingredient nickel was last bid down 3 percent at $12,470, having slid more than 5 percent to its lowest since Dec. 29 at $12,190.

The dollars index against a basket of six major currencies stood at 90.64, having pulled up from Mondays three-year low of 90.279. A stronger dollar makes dollar-priced metals costlier for non-U.S. investors.

(Were seeing) a bit of profit-taking on the back of a strong run. Beyond that we had some trade data from China last week which indicated imports of refined metals have been somewhat slow, said Nitesh Shah, commodity strategist at ETF Securities.

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