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METALS-Copper prices rebound on Chinese stimulus hopes

Peter Hobson

(Updates with official prices)

LONDON, June 11 (Reuters) - Copper prices on Tuesday rose to the highest in two weeks on hopes that China, the biggest consumer, will pump money into metals-intensive infrastructure building.

News that China will allow local governments to use proceeds from special bonds as capital for investment projects came after the United States and Mexico on Friday reached a deal to avert U.S. tariffs on Mexican goods, lifting copper and other metals. 1/8

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) traded up 0.7% at $5,916 a tonne in official rings after reaching a high of $5,947.50.

Global stock markets also rose and Chinese equities surged about 2%.

Fears that trade disputes will damage economic growth and metals demand had helped push copper prices down 15% from an April high to a five-month low of $5,740 last week.

"Optimism is stemming from talk of additional stimulus out of China," Capital Economics analyst Ross Strachan said.

"It's not a major surprise that markets have latched on to some positive news. It's been a bit of a bloodbath recently," he said, adding that copper was likely to end the year around current levels.

MEXICO: Mexico and the United States may explore additional steps next month to restrict illegal immigration from Central America, with the threat of tariffs hanging over Mexico.

CHINA: China will respond firmly if the United States insists on escalating trade tensions, the foreign ministry said. U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said this month's G20 summit will help push U.S-China trade talks forward but no final agreement was expected there.

YUAN: China's central bank said it will sell yuan-denominated bills in Hong Kong in late June, which some analysts said was aimed at stemming a sharp weakening in the yuan.

DOLLAR: The dollar has weakened from last month's two-year highs, supporting metals by making them cheaper for buyers with other currencies.

CHINA PREMIUMS: Chinese Yangshan copper import premiums <SMM-CUYP-CN> at $59 have risen from two-year lows of $47 last month.

"As the premium has started to recover, we expect China's import appetite to recover again in June," said Argonaut Securities analyst Helen Lau.

LEAD: LME lead traded up 0.9% at $1,905 a tonne, as the premium for cash metal over the three-month contract <MPB0-3> surged to $43.50, the highest since early 2017, pointing to a shortage of nearby supply.

Stocks of lead in LME-registered warehouses are near the lowest since 2009. <MPBSTX-TOTAL>

OTHER METALS: LME aluminum did not trade but was bid up 0.5% at $1,783 a tonne after touching a 29-month low on Monday. Zinc traded 1.8% higher at $2,520, nickel also traded up 1.8% at $11,885 and tin was bid down 0.2% at $19,200.

(Reporting by Peter Hobson; Additional reporting by Enrico dela Cruz, editing by Louise Heavens)