METALS-Copper hits 2-week low on strong dollar as inventories rise
* LME copper stocks rise after months of drawdowns
* China expected to scramble for tin supplies
* Coming Up; U.S. Q2 GDP at 1230 GMT
(Adds details, quotes; previous SINGAPORE)
LONDON, Aug 29 (Reuters) - Copper slid for a third day, sinking to its lowest level in two weeks on Thursday on a stronger dollar, concerns about Syria and slightly higher inventories.
The dollar index climbed to its strongest levels in two weeks, weighing on commodities markets by making dollar-priced goods more expensive to buyers outside of the United States.
Uncertainty over Syria continued to unnerve the market after U.S. President Barack Obama made the case for a limited military strike, but faced obstacles from lawmakers.
"A risk-off mood has overtaken the market because of what may or may not happen in Syria and today's strengthening of the dollar will have compounded it," said metals strategist Stephen Briggs at BNP Paribas in London.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange shed 0.56 percent to $7,249 a tonne by 0948 GMT after dropping to $7,226, its cheapest since Aug. 15.
The most-traded December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slid 0.65 percent to close at 52,370 yuan ($8,600) a tonne.
Copper inventories on the LME <MCUSTX-TOTAL> rose by 2,850 tonnes on Thursday, the second day in three on which stocks have increased, breaking a downtrend.
"We had months of declining LME stocks and that seems to have come to an end, at least for now, so that is a slight depressant too," Briggs added.
Copper's weakness, however, was cushioned by steady Chinese demand and the prospect of a slow revival in global growth.
It has traded in a $7,200-$7,450 range for most of August and its resilience in the face of higher oil prices and patchy U.S. economic data suggests prices have found a new floor, since rebounding from 3-year lows near $6,600 in late June, traders and analysts said.
"If you are considering where oil has been going and the concerns about what the higher oil price could do to the economy then we are holding up okay," said Dominic Schnider of UBS Wealth Management in Singapore.
TIGHTNESS IN TIN
Schnider said he saw prospects for some near term strength on the back of seasonally strong third quarter Chinese demand, although that is expected to fade into year end.
Threats of industrial action over pay at the world's top two copper miners were supporting prices.
Workers at Chile's Escondida, the world's biggest copper mine, will vote on an improved company proposal regarding a disputed bonus over the next week, a union leader told Reuters on Wednesday.
Although all LME metals were weaker, cash LME tin remained at a premium to the three-month price <CMSN0-3>, a market structure known as backwardation, indicating short supply.
A change in regulations in top exporter Indonesia already cut shipments last month and is expected to spark a scramble for supplies by Chinese traders and smelters, sources said.
"The last three weeks it's (LME price) been flipping in and out of backwardation, indicating tightness there, with cancelled warrants still quite high," Briggs said. "I would expect lower Indonesian exports in August and probably September as well."
Warrants for LME inventories are cancelled when the owner wishes to withdraw them from warehouses.
LME three-month tin fell 1.15 percent to $21,400 a tonne, aluminium lost 0.66 percent to $1,852.25 and nickel declined 0.4 percent to $14,120.
Zinc shed 0.88 percent to $1,940.75 a tonne and lead gave up 0.58 percent to $2,200.25.
(Additional reporting by Melanie Burton; editing by Jason Neely)