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METALS-London copper hits 2-year high on outlook for China scrap imports

(Adds analyst comment, detail; updates prices) MELBOURNE, July 26 (Reuters) - London copper climbed to its highest in more than two years on Wednesday, buoyed by a weaker dollar and talk that China's appetite for refined metal could grow if it curbs scrap imports. Expectations that China could look at banning some imports of copper scrap from the end of 2018 fueled the rally in copper prices, said analyst Dan Morgan of UBS in Sydney. "If true, it could make a reasonable impact short-term," he said. "These moves would make sense in the context of reforms going on in China, with moves to reduce pollution." China notified the World Trade Organization (WTO) last week that it would stop accepting shipments of rubbish such as waste plastic and paper as part of a campaign against "foreign garbage."

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper had climbed 2.2 percent to $6,351 a tonne as of 0525 GMT, extending Monday's 3.3-percent gains. Earlier in the session, prices hit their highest since May 2015 at $6,400 a tonne.

* TECHNICAL ANALYSIS: Traders said technical momentum was stoked when copper broke long-standing resistance through $6,000-$6,050 and as copper prices adjust to a weaker dollar. "Fundamentals are fine, but not so vigorous as to fuel such a rally," said a source at a Chinese smelter.

* SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper rallied to its highest in over five months at 50,470 yuan ($7,471) a tonne.

* U.S. ECONOMY: U.S. consumer confidence jumped to a near 16-year high in July amid optimism over the labor market, while house prices maintained their upward trend in May, which could boost consumer spending after recent sluggishness.

* GLOBAL INFRASTRUCTURE: Nearly a fifth of the $94 trillion in global infrastructure investment needed by 2040 risks being unfunded if current spending trends continue, the G20-backed Global Infrastructure Hub said on Tuesday.

* ZAMBIA COPPER MINE: Zambia's Konkola Copper Mines (KCM) said on Tuesday it was halting operations indefinitely at its Nchanga underground mine (NUG) in Chingola state due to theft of high voltage cables.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian stocks edged up early on Wednesday after Wall Street indexes notched record highs, while the dollar was steady as investors awaited the Federal Reserve's policy decision later in the day for more clues on its tightening plans.

* COMING UP: U.S. FOMC statement at 1800 GMT

PRICES

BASE METALS PRICES 0539 GMT Three month LME copper 6362 Most active ShFE 50410

copper

Three month LME 1962

aluminum

Most active ShFE 14615

aluminum

Three month LME zinc 2850 Most active ShFE zinc 23485 Three month LME lead 2344 Most active ShFE lead 18060 Three month LME nickel 10065 Most active ShFE 82320

nickel

Three month LME tin 20365 Most active ShFE tin 148010

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE

LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 354.42 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -778.23 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 544.32 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 -1059.19 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 1592.74

($1 = 6.7556 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Joseph Radford)