METALS-Copper slides as firm dollar, Syria dent risk appetite
* Obama wins backing from key figures for Syria strike
* Tapering talk keeps dollar near 6-week high
* Lead, zinc, aluminium, nickel near 1-month lows
* Tin rises after top Indonesian exporter halts shipments
(Adds details, quotes; updates prices)
LONDON, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Copper fell more than 2 percent on Wednesday as U.S. data reinforced prospects for the Federal Reserve to cut back on economic stimulus, while investors remained cautious as they considered a potential U.S. strike on Syria more likely.
The caution trumped improved prospects for global growth after a string of upbeat factory activity reports this week, led by top consumer China and the United States.
"All financial markets are reacting to what's going on in the Middle East, but for copper what's more important is the fact that China is growing at a fairly solid pace," said Karim Cherif, commodities analyst at Credit Suisse.
He added, however: "(Overall) the situation is not particularly positive. There's going to be a surplus this year and in the next few years. We expect the market to remain in the $7,000-7,300 a tonne range over the next 12 months."
Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange slid 2.2 percent to a session low of $7,087 a tonne, but had pared losses to $7,137 by 1436 GMT.
Copper prices fell to three-week lows of $7,081.50 a tonne last week. They have been trading in a $7,080-$7,420 band for most of the past month.
Aluminium, lead, zinc and nickel all hit their lowest in nearly a month.
Also hurting copper, the U.S. dollar hovered close to a six-week peak versus a currency basket, as encouraging U.S. economic data reinforced prospects of the Federal Reserve trimming its stimulus in September.
A strong dollar makes dollar-priced metals costlier for European and other non-U.S. investors.
TIN SHIPMENTS HALTED
Freeport McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc's said its Indonesian unit will likely not be back at full capacity until the middle of next year, giving analysts further cause to trim their surplus forecasts.
This week, markets took heart from surprisingly strong manufacturing activity data from the United States, China, the UK and across Europe.
Data on Wednesday showed euro zone businesses had their best month in over two years in August as orders increased for the first time since mid-2011 while growth in China's services sector hit a five-month high, underpinned by new orders and business optimism.
"The lift from China (data) should have been substantially more, but you've got emerging market currency concerns and Syria engulfing confidence," said Jonathan Barratt, chief executive of Sydney-based commodity research firm Barratt's Bulletin.
Investors braced for a U.S. jobs report due on Friday which might prove decisive in determining whether the economy is strong enough for the Federal Reserve to dial back its bond purchases in mid-September, though the decision has been complicated by Syria.
Tin swam against the weaker tide after supply problems in Indonesia, rising 0.3 percent to $21,635 a tonne.
Indonesia's top tin exporter PT Timah said it has stopped shipments and declared force majeure since new regulations forcing domestic producers to trade on a local exchange came into force last Friday.
Indonesia is the world's biggest exporter of tin and the shortfall is already feeding into global prices. Cash tin on the LME soared to the highest premium against the benchmark contract in 11 months on Wednesday. CMSN0-3>
Aluminium fell 1.2 percent to $1,800 a tonne after touching a session low of $1,785.
"Aluminium has come under sustained selling pressure, with prices falling below $1,800 once again. Turnover remains below average however with a further decline towards trendline support at $1,785 perhaps needed to spark any serious buying interest," analyst Leon Westgate at Standard Bank said in a note.
Lead shed 1.0 percent to $2,133, zinc slid 1.9 percent to $1,873.25, while nickel was unchanged at $13,700.
(Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Singapore and Eric Onstad in London; editing by William Hardy and Keiron Henderson)