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BEIJING, March 16 (Reuters) - Copper prices fell on Friday as the dollar strengthened ahead of next week's Federal Open Market Committee meeting, at which the U.S. central bank is expected to raise interest rates for the first time this year. A stronger greenback makes metals more expensive for holders of other currencies and can weigh on prices. FUNDAMENTALS * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.1 percent at $6,914 a tonne by 0210 GMT, extending a 1 percent loss in the previous session. It is on course for a 0.7 percent weekly drop. * SHFE COPPER: The most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was down 0.8 percent to 51,960 yuan ($8,206) a tonne but on track for a weekly gain of 0.8 percent. * NICKEL: Shanghai nickel was the biggest loser in early trade, slipping 1 percent to 103,060 yuan a tonne but still up 2.2 percent for the week. * COPPER: The Democratic Republic of Congo is considering adding copper to its list of strategic minerals in a move that would extract higher fees from mining companies, an adviser to the prime minister said on Thursday. * ALUMINIUM: The U.S. International Trade Commission said on Thursday it had made a final finding that imports of aluminium foil from China hurt U.S. producers, a move that locks in place hefty duties of up to 188 percent on Chinese exporters. * ALUMINA: Norsk Hydro Asa sees securing alternative sources of alumina to replace reduced supplies at its Brazilian plant as a priority, Chief Executive Svein Richard Brandtzaeg told Reuters. * TARIFFS: U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross and European Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrom have agreed to meet next week in an attempt to resolve a deepening dispute over trade tariffs, a European Commission source said on Thursday. * For the top stories in metals and other news, click or MARKETS NEWS * Asian stocks were on the defensive on Friday as worries over the U.S. investigation into the Trump Organization tested investor nerves, already frayed by fears U.S. tariffs could hurt the global economy and trigger a trade war. DATA AHEAD (GMT) 0700 Germany Wholesale price index Feb 1000 Euro zone Labour costs Q4 1230 U.S. Housing starts Feb 1230 U.S. Building permits Feb 1315 U.S. Industrial production Feb 1400 U.S. University of Michigan sentiment index Mar PRICES BASE METALS PRICES 0200 GMT Three month LME copper 6905 Most active ShFE copper 51840 Three month LME aluminium 2088 Most active ShFE aluminium 13970 Three month LME zinc 3227 Most active ShFE zinc 24875 Three month LME lead 2401 Most active ShFE lead 18505 Three month LME nickel 13585 Most active ShFE nickel 102770 Three month LME tin 20915 Most active ShFE tin 144370 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 996.38 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -1366 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 677.09 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 18.73 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 1716.57 ($1 = 6.3320 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Tom Daly; editing by Richard Pullin)
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