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METALS-London copper slips ahead of ECB meeting; Sino-U.S. rift weighs

Sept 10 (Reuters) - London copper slipped while its counterpart in Shanghai edged higher on Thursday ahead of a monetary policy decision by the European Central Bank, and as heightened tensions between the United States and China kept investors cautious.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.1% at $6,727 a tonne a tonne at 0158 GMT.

The most-traded October copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange extended overnight gains to rise 0.3% to 52,050 yuan ($7,613.99).

FUNDAMENTALS

* U.S. companies in China are increasingly fretful that trade tensions between the world’s two biggest economies will drag out over years, a survey showed.

* Copper stocks on the LME dropped to the lowest since November 2005, while inventories in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai exchange rose to their highest since May. MCUSTX-TOTALCU-STX-SGH

* China’s August refined nickel output rose 15% from a year earlier to 14,260 tonnes, according to Antaike, the research arm of the country’s nonferrous metals association.

* China’s August refined zinc output rose 2.8% to 450,000 tonnes from last year, Antaike also said, hitting a record monthly high in nearly five years.

* In Shanghai, aluminium and nickel were virtually flat, while zinc slipped 0.1% and lead slumped 1.3%

* LME aluminium rose 0.1%, LME lead gained 0.2%, LME zinc was down 0.1% while LME nickel steadied.

MARKETS NEWS

* Asian markets are expected to swing higher on Thursday, after U.S. stocks reversed course from a three-day losing streak that led the technology-heavy Nasdaq into correction territory.

* The dollar slid from a four-week high on Wednesday, led by losses against the euro after a report about European Central Bank officials becoming more confident in their outlook for the region’s recovery.

DATA/EVENTS

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

1145 EU ECB Refinancing Rate Sept

1145 EU ECB Deposit Rate Sept

1230 US Initial Jobless Clm Weekly (Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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