METALS-Copper falls for third session on profit taking, COVID worries

(Adds comment on nickel, updates prices)

LONDON, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Copper prices extended their decline on Monday to touch their lowest in almost a week as investors locked in profits amid surging COVID-19 cases and more delays to a U.S. stimulus deal.

Copper tracked a pullback in wider financial markets that were also eyeing the launch of an assembly in China, the world’s biggest metals consumer, to agree on the next five-year economic plan.

Wall Street indexes fell sharply, while data showed sales of new U.S. single-family homes unexpectedly fell in September.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had shed 1.1% to $6,790 a tonne by 1555 GMT, its third day of losses, after earlier hitting $6,758.50, its weakest since Oct. 20.

Last week, copper broke through the $7,000 level for the first time in 28 months during an online LME Week, as analysts and investors gauged the year ahead for the industrial metals sector.

“It’s only natural that there’s going to be some profit taking after the euphoria of last week. We’re not selling off significantly, there’s still a lot of optimism for copper, nickel and tin,” said independent consultant Robin Bhar.

“The plenum has kicked off in Beijing so there will be some positive statements in the next few days as we learn more about China’s green revolution. This pullback is a good opportunity for people to get some slightly better buying levels.”

After a correction, Bhar expects copper to resume its uptrend and move back above $7,000 by the end of the year.

* Also pressuring metals was a firmer dollar index, which makes commodities priced in the U.S. currency more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

* Nickel, mainly used to make stainless steel, dropped 0.6% to $15,615 a tonne, weighed down by a slump in Shanghai stainless steel futures and speculative selling, broker Marex Spectron said in a note.

* LME aluminium fell 0.8% to $1,827 a tonne, zinc declined 0.5% to $2,547, lead gave up 0.2% to $1,782 and tin slid 2% to $18,045.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or (Reporting by Eric Onstad; Editing by Kirsten Donovan and Mark Potter)