August 29, 2018 / 2:58 AM / 3 months ago

METALS-London copper slips on China demand risks, firmer dollar

(Adds China economy facing risks, updates prices)

By Manolo Serapio Jr

MANILA, Aug 29 (Reuters) - London copper drifted down on Wednesday, pressured by a recovery in the dollar and worries over softer demand from top consumer China after Beijing's state planner warned the economy is facing increasing risks in the second-half of the year.

The head of China's National Development and Reform Commission said the government needs to step up efforts to achieve key development goals.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.5 percent at $6,115.50 a tonne by 0720 GMT, retreating from a two-week peak of $6,167 reached on Tuesday.

On the Shanghai Futures Exchange, the most-traded October copper rose 0.4 percent to settle at 48,830 yuan ($7,104) a tonne, tracking overnight gains in London.

Amid an escalating trade dispute with Washington, China's economy showed signs of further cooling last month with investment growth at a record-low and consumers turning more cautious about spending.

"It's a bit difficult for copper prices to go up because the whole sentiment is weak especially about the demand outlook for China," said Helen Lau, analyst at Argonaut Securities.

"It's not a big slowdown but there are signs of slowdown and people will make a big deal out of it."

* DOLLAR: The U.S. dollar inched higher after touching a four-week low overnight, making dollar-denominated assets costlier for holders of other currencies.

* CHINA ALUMINA: China is shipping unusually high volumes of alumina for a second time this year to an international market desperate for the ingredient used to make aluminium, traders and analysts said, even as domestic prices rise and put pressure on smelters.

* ALUMINIUM PRICES: Shanghai aluminium closed up 0.6 percent at 14,875 yuan a tonne after hitting 15,100 yuan earlier in the session, the highest since June 12. LME aluminium was steady at $2,133 a tonne after hitting a two-week high of $2,142 overnight. ANZ analysts said a strike at an Alcoa Corp alumina plant in the west of Australia has impacted exports.

* FREEPORT: Indonesia will extend the special mining permit for PT Freeport Indonesia for another month to September. Freeport McMoran agreed in July to sell a majority stake in PT Freeport Indonesia to Indonesia's state-owned mining company Inalum.

* ZINC: Zinc has been the day's underperformer so far, falling 1.2 percent to $2,508.50 a tonne in London and dropping 0.9 percent to 21,095 yuan in Shanghai.

PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin

ARBS ($1 = 6.8740 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr. Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford

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