MELBOURNE, Jan 15 (Reuters) - Base metals on the London Metal Exchange climbed on Monday, buoyed as the U.S. dollar came
under pressure from expectations the European Central Bank may soon start trimming monetary stimulus. The U.S. dollar wallowed at three-year lows against a basket
of currencies, while the euro took a breather after soaring on hopes that ECB policymakers were gearing up to further trim
their monetary stimulus. A weaker dollar buoys demand for commodities as it makes them cheaper for buyers paying with
other currencies. Fundamentally, metals have also found support from resilient China demand, said ANZ after China's commodities buying spree
eased slightly in December from bumper levels a month earlier. The slight drop in year-on-year import growth rates raised
some doubts as to continued strong growth this year, ANZ added. "However, we feel such fears will ultimately be unfounded."    
FUNDAMENTALS: * COPPER: LME copper hit the highest since Jan. 4 at $7,226 a tonne, trading up 1.6 percent, as of 0402 GMT. Prices
have oscillated around the range of $7,070-$7,315 since late December notably due to resilient demand from China. * While China's copper imports fell by 8.2 percent in
December, this was mostly due to base effect, after last year's imports were particularly strong, said ANZ. "Last month's volumes still represent the third highest over the past two
years, suggesting demand remains robust." * Shanghai Futures Exchange copper shed earlier losses to rise 0.2 percent to 54,810 yuan ($8,533) a tonne.
* LME zinc climbed 1 percent, extending Friday's gains to hit its highest in a more than a decade at $3,422 a tonne. A dearth of mining investment in the recent years has
resulted in a shortage of the refined metal used to galvanise steel. * LME aluminium gained 1.3 percent to $2,243.00 a tonne. In late December, it reached $2,290.50 a tonne, which was
its highest in more than four years, partly after output cuts in top producer China eroded global supply.  * PERU: Damage in world No. 2 copper producer Peru appeared
limited after an earthquake with a magnitude of 7.3 struck on Sunday. No victims have been reported, the governor of Peru's
Arequipa region said on Twitter. * INVESTORS: Hedge funds and money managers trimmed a net long position in COMEX copper contracts in the week to Jan. 9,
U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data showed on Friday.
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