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METALS-London copper hits over 2-year peak on weak dollar, China demand hopes

MELBOURNE, Sept 18 (Reuters) - London copper hit a more than two-year high on Friday, buoyed by a weaker dollar and strong fund buying on hopes that Chinese stimulus would spur demand in the world’s biggest metals consumer.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper was up 0.7% at $6,828 a tonne by 0304 GMT, after hitting $6,850, its highest level since June 2018 earlier in the session.

* SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper rose by 1.3% to touch a four-session high of 52,140 yuan ($7,718) a tonne.

* DOLLAR: The dollar was steady in early Asia trading after falling overnight as downbeat U.S. data cast a shadow over the economic outlook. A weaker dollar makes it cheaper to buy metals in other currencies.

* U.S. JOBS: Overnight data showed recovery in the U.S. labour market stalling and Wall Street indexes fell for a second straight session amid disappointment that the Federal Reserve made no new monetary easing commitments at its meeting this week.

* OTHER METALS: LME zinc rose by 1.2% to $2,542 a tonne, set to hit peaks last seen in May 2019 if prices surpass the Sept. 1 peak of $2,583. LME aluminium rose 0.5% to $1,790. LME nickel was up 0.1% at $15,100 a tonne and lead rose 0.3% to $1,915. LME tin eased 0.3% to $18,145 a tonne.

* COPPER: Demand for refined copper in China continues to ease, with premiums falling $4.50 to $59, data showed overnight, extending a decline from highs of $100 six weeks ago. That is the lowest since the start of April. <0#BASEBW-SHMET>

* China premiums are expected to fall further before seasonal demand picks up towards the end of the month, broker Triland said in a report, citing ample stocks in the country after high imports. Overall copper interest remained weak, it added.

* LME cash copper prices have traded around $25 higher than three months prices in the backwardated market structure that suggests low copper stocks in markets outside of China. CMCU0-3

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian stocks inched up on Friday, despite Wall Street declines, but struggled to make deeper gains as worries about a faltering economic recovery kept investors to the sidelines or seeking safer harbour in assets such as the Japanese yen.

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 = 6.7557 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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