October 18, 2018 / 2:33 AM / 10 months ago

METALS-Copper slips on stronger dollar, China economic pressure

(Adds analyst comment, updates prices)

By Manolo Serapio Jr

MANILA, Oct 18 (Reuters) - London copper edged lower on Thursday as the U.S. dollar strengthened after minutes from the Federal Reserve's meeting last month showed more interest rate increases are likely for the rest of the year.

Comments from Chinese Premier Li Keqiang that China's economy faces increasing downward pressure amid an ongoing trade war with the United States also weighed on sentiment.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.3 percent at $6,202 a tonne by 0218 GMT, and below this week's high of $6,342. The most-traded December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained 0.2 percent to 50,170 yuan ($7,232) a tonne.

Other LME metals were also weaker including aluminium, zinc, lead and nickel.

While metals demand remains healthy "concerns about the economic outlook have intensified in recent months," Goldman Sachs analysts said in a report this week.

"A stronger dollar, tighter financial conditions and the festering trade dispute between China and the United States are downside risks to demand, particularly in emerging markets."

* CHINA ECONOMY: Li, while on a trip to Europe, said Beijing is determined to cope with risks and challenges for the economy which he expects to grow within a reasonable range in the third quarter.

* U.S. RATE HIKES: Federal Reserve policymakers are largely united on the need to raise borrowing costs further, minutes from their September policy meeting show, despite U.S. President Donald Trump's view that interest rate hikes have already gone too far.

* DOLLAR: Amid expectations for further U.S. rate hikes, the dollar traded stronger versus its major peers, making dollar-priced assets costlier for holders of other currencies.

* FREEPORT: Indonesia's state-owned miner Inalum is looking to finalise a $3.85 billion deal for majority control of the local unit of global mining giant Freeport McMoRan Inc in December.

* PRICES: LME aluminium dropped 0.2 percent to $2,018 a tonne, zinc declined 0.6 percent to $2,649.50 and lead lost 0.9 percent to $2,029. In Shanghai, aluminium shed 1.2 percent to 14,130 yuan, zinc climbed 1.2 percent to 22,560 yuan and nickel fell 1.1 percent to 101,660 yuan.


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 = 6.9368 Chinese yuan)

Reporting by Manolo Serapio Jr.; editing by Richard Pullin

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