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METALS-Copper rises on weaker dollar amid dovish Fed comments

Mai Nguyen

(Updates prices)

SINGAPORE, July 11 (Reuters) - Copper rose for the second straight session on Thursday as the U.S. dollar eased on hopes of rate cuts, following dovish comments by the Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell.

Powell on Wednesday confirmed that the U.S. economy is still under threat, stressing that uncertainties around trade tensions and concerns about the strength of the global economy continue to weigh on the U.S. outlook.

The U.S. dollar retreated, making greenback-priced metals cheaper for users of other currencies.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.2% to $5,951 a tonne by 0707 GMT, after posting its biggest rise since Jan. 25 in the previous session.

The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rallied 1.5% to end at 46,590 yuan ($6,790.16)a tonne.

However, gains were capped as investors eyed forecasts for slower growth in China, with vehicle sales potentially falling in 2019 and a Reuters poll showing economists expect economic growth to weaken to a near 30-year low of 6.2% this year.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LEAD: Shanghai lead rose 1.4% while London lead advanced 0.3% to a three-month high, as lead stocks <MPBSTX-TOTAL> continued to deteriorate, hitting their fresh 10-year low on Tuesday, latest data showed.

* LEAD SPREAD: The difference between LME cash and three month lead contracts <CMPB0-3> flipped to a premium of $10.5 a tonne on Wednesday after holding in discount zone for nearly a month, indicating nearby supply shortage.

* "Lead smelters are all losing money, so prices should rise. Lead consumption now is not very good, but it will be better. The 3rd and 4th quarters are the peak season for lead-acid battery consumption" a China-based lead sales manager said.

* PRICES: London aluminium eased 0.1% after hitting a two-month high in the previous session, zinc rose 0.4% and nickel marched towards a three-month high, up 0.7%.

* SHANGHAI: Shanghai aluminium advanced 0.3%, nickel jumped 2.2% and zinc edged up 0.1%.

* ZINC: Zinc three-month spread on the London Metal Exchange (LME) <CMZN0-3> also returned to premium after three sessions in discount. LME zinc stocks have been falling since May. <MZNSTX-TOTAL>

* BOSNIA ALUMINIUM: Bosnia's sole aluminium smelter Aluminij will file for bankruptcy after closing on Wednesday over debts incurred because of high electricity and alumina prices.

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PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin

ARBS ($1 = 6.8614 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Additional reporting by Tom Daly in Beijing; Editing by Richard Pullin, Rashmi Aich & Uttaresh.V)