BEIJING, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Shanghai copper prices rose for a second session on Wednesday, tracking a strong jump in London the previous day, as traders took up new positions in the metal
before the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) closes for a national holiday. Market open interest on Shanghai copper hit 811,170 lots on
Tuesday, the highest since January 2016, ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday in China beginning on Thursday. Traders are likely to cover their short positions ahead of
the Lunar New Year week-long holiday, which could put them at some risk due to volatility in LME prices. London copper prices continued their recent recovery, rising
above the level of $7,000 a tonne that had provided support so far in 2018 before last week's equity-driven sell-off. "Copper has made a strong attempt to regain $7,000 as the
big figure and there certainly has been Chinese buying in front of tomorrow's New Year shutdown," Malcolm Freeman, CEO of Kingdom Futures, wrote in a note.
FUNDAMENTALS: * SHFE COPPER: The most-traded April copper contract on the ShFE was up 1.6 percent at 52,710 yuan ($8,324.38) a
tonne by the mid-session interval, poised for its highest close in a week. * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange climbed 0.3 percent to $7,003 a tonne, as of 0443 GMT, as the dollar index lost 0.3 percent. A weaker dollar makes metals cheaper for holders of other
currencies and can support prices. * NICKEL/ZINC: Shanghai nickel gained 2.4 percent, tracking a 2.7 percent rise in London on Tuesday, while zinc
 climbed 2.1 percent on indications of a tight market. * ALUMINIUM: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he was considering a range of options to address steel and
aluminium imports that he said were unfairly hurting U.S. producers, including tariffs and quotas. * CENTRAL ASIA: Base metals miner Central Asia Metals (CAML)
 is on the hunt for a new copper project in Southern Africa for up to $400 million in what would be its first foray into the continent, its chief executive said.
    * COBALT: The London Metal Exchange could remove companies from its list of approved metal suppliers if they fall short of
industry standards following an outcry about cobalt mined by children in Africa, three sources said.
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