KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 13 (Reuters) - London copper slipped in early Asian trading, snapping three days of gains, as Chinese purchases of the industrial metal slowed before the start of the week-long Lunar New Year holidays.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange slipped 0.64 percent to $7,953.75 a tonne by 0111 GMT. Prices are headed for a 5 percent gain this week, after two straight weeks of declines.
The most-traded March copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained 0.82 percent to 57,870 yuan ($9,200) a tonne.
Copper shot to a more than two-month high above $8,000 per tonne on Thursday after data showing slower inflation in China and two successful European debt auctions boosted investor confidence that demand will rise.
Australia's Port Hedland, one of the world's largest export terminals for iron ore, has reopened after being shut ahead of Tropical Cyclone Heidi, a port official said on Friday.
The euro held its ground in Asia on Friday, having risen broadly overnight after debt sales in Spain and Italy drew solid demand, raising expectations that an auction of longer-dated Italian bonds later in the day will also do well.
The S&P 500 closed at a five-month high on Thursday but had difficulty extending gains in the face of lackluster economic data and another European bond market test.
China's businesses are shut the week of Jan. 22 for the Lunar New Year celebrations.
1000 EZ Eurostat trade nsa, EUR Nov 2011
1200 JPMorgan Chase & Co earnings Q4 2011
2030 U.S. CFTC commitment of traders data Weekly
Base metals prices at 0111 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg
LME Cu 7953.75 -51.25 -0.64 4.65
SHFE CU FUT MAR2 57870 470 +0.82 4.53
HG COPPER MAR2 361.70 -3.20 -0.88 5.27
LME Alum 2153.00 -9.00 -0.42 6.58
SHFE AL FUT APR2 16195 -20 -0.12 2.21
LME Zinc 1945.75 -21.25 -1.08 5.46
SHFE ZN FUT MAR2 15220 35 +0.23 2.87
LME Nickel 19501.00 -199.00 -1.01 4.23
LME Lead 2020.25 -14.75 -0.72 -0.72
SHFE PB FUT 15400.00 0.00 +0.00 0.75
LME Tin 20990.00 -80.00 -0.38 9.32
LME/Shanghai arb^ 921
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
^ LME 3-month copper in yuan, including 17 pct VAT, minus SHFE third month
($1 = 6.3178 Chinese yuan)