METALSCopper Up on Dollar, Strike Possibility in Chile

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LONDON, May 20 Reuters Copper prices rose on Thursday as a softer dollar and worries about a strike in Chile spurred purchases, but plans by top consumer China to manage the supply, demand and prices of commodities capped gains.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.6 at 10,058 a tonne at 1041 GMT. However, prices of the metal used widely in power and construction are down 6 since hitting a record high at 10,747.50 a tonne earlier in May.

Theres been some buying on the back of a lower dollar and the possibility of a strike at Escondida copper mine in Chile, a copper trader said. But the rally does seem to have to run out of steam.

STRIKE The union representing workers at Chiles Escondida copper mine, the worlds largest, said on Wednesday it was preparing for a lengthy strike if owner BHP did not reach a fair and equitable deal in looming contract talks.

DOLLAR A lower U.S. currency makes dollardenominated metals cheaper for holders of other currencies, which could boost demand.

CHILE Also supporting copper is political uncertainty in top producer Chile and Peru.

An overhaul of Chiles marketorientated constitution is underway and the country is debating whether to increase royalties on miners.

Peru, the No. 2 producer, is heading for a polarized June presidential election with a littleknown socialist leading in the polls who wants to redistribute mining wealth.

CHINA The worlds top metal consumer said on Wednesday it will strengthen its…

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