BEIJING, March 12 (Reuters) - London base metals gained
ground on Tuesday, with copper rising by the most in a week, as
a softer dollar and improving investor sentiment after changes
to a Brexit deal lent support to prices. 
    A weaker greenback makes dollar-denominated metals cheaper
for holders of other currencies.
    "The overall market sentiment is heating up," said Xu Maili,
head of non-ferrous metals research at Everbright Futures in
Shanghai. This is also reflected in gains in the ferrous
complex, equities and crude oil prices, he added.
    Xu remains bullish on copper in the medium term even after
an 8.4 percent gain for the metal so far this year, with
possible fluctuations due to profit-taking, he said in a note.
    "Furthermore, it will take time for the rising copper prices
to be accepted by the downstream industry," Xu added.     
                
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
 rose as much as 1 percent, the most since March 5, and
was up 0.9 percent at $6,464 a tonne, as of 0447 GMT. The
most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange
 added 0.7 percent to 49,360 yuan ($7,353.55) a tonne. 
    * COPPER: Production at Chinese miner MMG Ltd's
Las Bambas copper deposit in Peru could fall "in the near-term"
due to a month-long road blockade by a community that was
relocated to build the mine, the company said.
    * European Commission head Jean-Claude Juncker said on
Monday he agreed an updated Brexit deal with British Prime
Minister Theresa May to make the agreement more palatable to UK
lawmakers but warned they would not get a third chance to
endorse it.
    * TRADE: Chinese Vice Premier Liu He held a telephone call
on Tuesday with U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and U.S.
Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer on key issues in their
trade talks, state news agency Xinhua said.
    * U.S. DOLLAR: The dollar index fell 0.2 percent to
97.062 on a modest improvement in risk appetite.
    * OTHER METALS: Nickel was the biggest gainer in
base metals on the LME, rising 1.5 percent to $13,090 a tonne,
while aluminium added 1 percent and zinc,
Monday's top performer, climbed another 1 percent.
    * ZINC: The global zinc market deficit narrowed to 28,000
tonnes in January from a revised deficit of 62,400 tonnes in
December, data from the International Lead and Zinc Study Group
showed.
    * ZINC: Zinc inventories in LME-approved warehouses at
59,450 tonnes are the lowest since October 2007. MZNSTX-TOTAL
    * ALUMINIUM: Queues to take aluminium out of LME-approved
warehouses owned by ISTIM UK in Port Klang, Malaysia rose to 229
days in February from 118 days in January and zero days in
December.