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METALS-London copper slips as firmer dollar sparks profit-taking

(Adds comment, updates prices) MELBOURNE, Aug 2 (Reuters) - London copper slipped on Wednesday but stayed within the reach of two-year highs hit earlier this week, as a slightly firmer dollar sparked profit-taking while a brightening view of China's growth prospects underpinned prices. The dollar extended its modest bounce from 15-month lows on Wednesday, benefiting from a pause in selling of the battered currency as investors begin positioning for key events this week, notably Friday's U.S. employment report. A stronger dollar tends to depress appetite for commodities because it makes them more expensive for holders of other currencies. Fundamentally, appetite has picked up for metals, after a solid round of economic reports this week, said economist Amy Li of National Australia Bank in Melbourne. "The market overall is a bit more bullish. Chinese demand has been resilient, China's data on Monday was reasonably strong especially around real estate and infrastructure sectors," the economist said.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange slipped by 0.5 percent to $6,315 a tonne by 0515 GMT, following a small loss in the previous session. Prices jumped into a new range above $6,000 a tonne late last month, striking the highest since May 2015 at $6,400 a tonne.

* SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper slipped by 0.7 percent to 49,970 yuan ($7,430) a tonne.

* CHINA ECONOMY: Growth in China's manufacturing quickened in July, a private survey showed on Tuesday, as output and new orders rose at the fastest pace since February on strong export sales.

* US ECONOMY: A gauge of U.S. factory activity slid from a near three-year high in July amid a slowdown in new orders and consumer spending barely rose in the prior month, setting the stage for a moderate economic expansion in the third quarter.

* DUMPING: U.S. President Donald Trump is close to a decision on how to respond to what he considers China's unfair trade practices, a senior Trump administration official said on Tuesday.

* LME NICKEL: LME nickel slipped by 1 percent from around four-month highs struck early this week on expectations Indonesian ore shipments could offset any losses from the Philippines, which is in the midst of a crackdown on mining pollution.

* NICKEL: Indonesia's energy and mining ministry has recommended that two companies be issued nickel export permits for a combined 2 million tonnes, an official said on Tuesday.

PRICES

BASE METALS PRICES 0516 gmt Three month LME copper 6315 Most active ShFE 49970

copper

Three month LME 1916

aluminium

Most active ShFE 14575

aluminium

Three month LME zinc 2763 Most active ShFE zinc 22995 Three month LME lead 2325.5 Most active ShFE lead 18270 Three month LME 10185

nickel

Most active ShFE 82170

nickel

Three month LME tin 20450 Most active ShFE tin 146420

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE

LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 567.79 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -313.22 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 723.69 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 -755.76 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 1623.66

($1 = 6.7255 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin and Subhranshu Sahu)