BEIJING, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Shanghai copper prices fell on Wednesday, tracking a sharp decline in London on Tuesday after
London Metal Exchange (LME)refined copper inventories surged and concerns grew over the strength of import demand in top copper
consumer China. On-warrant copper stocks in facilities certified by the LME - metal not earmarked for delivery from warehouses and available for investors - jumped by 28 percent on
Tuesday, data showed. Cancelled LME warrants plunged by 16 percent to 44,000 tonnes, the biggest decline in the past four months, according
to brokerage Argonaut Securities. "This decline in cancelled warrants may point to a weak imports appetite from China in January," analyst Helen Lau wrote in a note. 
China imported 450,000 tonnes of unwrought copper in December, down 6.9 percent year-on-year, according to customs data released on Tuesday. China's own refined copper production
was also at an all-time high of 865,000 tonnes last month. FUNDAMENTALS:  * SHFE COPPER: The most-traded March copper contract on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) was down 1.6 percent to 52,770 yuan ($8,259) a tonne at the mid-session interval. It earlier touched 52,520 yuan a tonne, the lowest since Dec. 14,
2017. * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the LME gained 0.3 percent to $6,944.50 a tonne at 0421 GMT, partly recovering from a 2.1 percent drop to a one-month low in the previous
session. * USD: The dollar index was down 0.2 percent at a three-year low. A weak greenback makes dollar-denominated metals
cheaper for holders of other currencies and supports prices. * BUMPER PROFITS: Zijin Mining Group Co, a Chinese gold and nonferous metals miner, expects
2017 net profits to rise 85-95 percent from a year ago. * LEAD: ShFE lead continued its recent rally due to tight lead stocks and output curbs in China on environmental
grounds, climbing 0.7 percent to 19,720 yuan a tonne. * CHILE: Chile's conservative President-elect Sebastian Pinera on Tuesday named a former finance minister in the top
copper exporter, Felipe Larrain, to fill the same spot again in his new cabinet. * SCRAP: China's imports of scrap copper fell 19.8 percent
in December from a year earlier, customs data showed on Tuesday, as the country continues a clampdown on taking foreign waste. 
* RIO: The top U.S. securities regulator on Tuesday rejected arguments by Rio Tinto Plc, and two former top executives that its civil lawsuit claiming they concealed the
plunging value of coal assets owned by the big Anglo-Australian mining company should be dismissed. * BRAZIL: Anglo American PLC said on Tuesday it
expects to receive long-awaited licenses on Friday which will pave the way for the mining company to boost its Brazilian iron
ore production capacity by about 56 percent.
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