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METALS-Copper slips further as trade deal pessimism sets in

Peter Hobson

(Updates throughout, moves dateline from BEIJING)

LONDON, July 3 (Reuters) - Copper prices touched a two-week low on Wednesday as uncertainty over U.S.-China trade talks injected pessimism to the demand outlook and stockpiles in London Metal Exchange (LME) warehouses jumped to the highest in a year.

Benchmark copper on the LME was down 0.1% at $5,883 a tonne at 1005 GMT after slipping to $5,840, the weakest since June 18.

Investors fear protectionist trade policies will damage economic growth, weakening metals consumption.

Copper, used in power and construction, cost more than $7,000 a tonne in June last year before U.S. President Donald Trump began his trade dispute with China.

Hopes that talks over the weekend had put the two countries on a path to a deal were fading, said ETF Securities analyst Nitesh Shah.

"From a fundamental standpoint, things are pretty good (for copper) ... If there weren't question marks over demand, the metal would be doing very well," he said.

MANUFACTURING: Data this week showed factory activity shrank across much of Europe and Asia in June and U.S. manufacturing activity slowed to near a three-year low.

In China, the world's largest consumer of metals, the manufacturing PMI fell short of market expectations and was the worst since January.

SLOWING GROWTH: Other PMI figures on Wednesday from China, the euro zone and Britain added to the picture of weakening economies.

TRADE WAR: White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said on Tuesday trade talks with China were heading in the right direction, but a deal would take time.

But Trump said on Monday any deal would need to be somewhat tilted in favor of the United States, and a U.S. official said Chinese company Huawei should still be treated as blacklisted.

COPPER STOCKS: Copper inventories in LME-registered warehouses jumped 32,575 tonnes to 272,500 tonnes, the highest in a year. <MCUSTX-TOTAL>

TIN: LME tin was up 1.8% at $18,025 a tonne after plunging more than 6% on Tuesday to the lowest in three years.

"The overall pattern of weak supply and demand remains unchanged," Citic Futures analysts said in a note, adding that Chinese tin smelters were losing money at these price levels.

TIN STOCKS: Inventories in LME warehouses have risen from a record low below 1,000 tonnes in May to 6,410 tonnes, the highest in two years but far below peaks a decade ago. <MSNSTX-TOTAL>

SPREADS: LME cash tin has flipped from a more than $300 premium to the three-month contract in May to a discount of $36, pointing to an increase in nearby supply <MSN0-3>

OTHER METALS: LME aluminum was down 0.2% at $1,779 a tonne, zinc fell 0.6% to $2,464.50 and lead slipped 0.3% to $1,890. Nickel was up 2.1% at $12,350.

(Reporting by Peter Hobson; Additional reporting by Tom Daly, editing by Deepa Babington)