(Updates prices, adds details)

By Mai Nguyen

HANOI, June 18 (Reuters) – London copper prices were set on
Friday for their biggest weekly fall since March 2020 as the
dollar firmed on the prospect of U.S. interest rate hikes and
after China announced a plan to sell part of its reserves of the

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was
down 0.8% at $9,242.50 a tonne by 0710 GMT, pushing its loss for
the week to 7.6% and putting it on track for its steepest weekly
fall since March last year, when the coronavirus hit demand.

The most traded July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange dropped to 66,960 yuan ($10,394) a tonne, its
lowest since April 15, before paring some losses to close at
67,260 yuan a tonne, still down 2.6%.

The dollar was headed for its biggest weekly gain in nearly
nine months as investors scrambled to price in a
sooner-than-expected ending to extraordinary U.S. monetary
stimulus in the days after a surprise shift in tone from the
Federal Reserve.

A stronger dollar makes greenback-priced metals more
expensive and less appealing to holders of other currencies.

“Metals were suffering from equity markets that started to
fall, and tapering and potential rises in interest rates
unnerving investors,” said Malcolm Freeman, a director at UK
broker Kingdom Futures.

“It felt like the investment community was reducing its

Prices had already been under pressure after top metals
consumer China announced a plan on Wednesday to sell state
reserves of copper, aluminium and zinc in an effort to curb a
strong price rally in commodities.


* LME aluminium fell 0.3% to $2,392 a tonne, nickel
rose 1% to $17,345 a tonne, ShFE aluminium
dropped 1.8% to 18,380 yuan a tonne and zinc shed 3.1%
to 21,935 yuan a tonne.

* The speculative net long in SHFE copper declined to 9.5%
of open interest on Thursday, the lowest since Nov 24 last year
and down from a mid-May high of 54.7%, Marex Analytics data

* A single party controls 50%-80% of available zinc stocks
and short-term futures, LME data showed. <0#LME-WHT>

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click

($1 = 6.4419 yuan)
(Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu, Aditya
Soni and Jan Harvey)