* China loans fuel hopes for improving demand
* Tin boosted by worries about shortages, low LME stocks
* Nickel at highest since July 2015, deficits loom (Adds closing prices, updates copper high)
By Pratima Desai
LONDON, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Copper prices hit one-year highs on Tuesday as expectations of stronger demand in top consumer China and optimism that Democrat Hillary Clinton will win the U.S. presidential election boosted sentiment and spurred buying.
Clinton, who has a 90 percent chance of winning according to the final Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project, is viewed as a status quo candidate with more predictable policies than Republican Donald Trump.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange ended up 2.7 percent at $5,235.50 a tonne. Earlier it hit $5,248.50, its highest since Oct. 23, 2015, as funds jumped on the uptrend after a break of key resistance around $5,150.
Copper has gained more than 10 percent since Oct. 21.
Much of the focus is on China, which accounts for about half of global consumption of industrial metals, where the outlook for economic and demand growth is perceived to have improved.
“Chinese credit conditions have been pretty strong recently, people are more hopeful,” Oxford Economics analyst Dan Smith said. “The global manufacturing PMI for October showed an acceleration in new orders and production. The idea of a Clinton presidency is market-friendly, so a few things coming together.”
The JPMorgan Global Manufacturing PMI rose to a two-year high of 52.0 in October.
Chinese banks extended 1.22 trillion yuan ($180 billion) in new loans in September, capping a record nine-month lending spree. Much of the growth in recent months has been driven by a rapid rise in home mortgages.
Some viewed that growth with caution.
“The state of underlying metals demand, with the arguable exception of China, is not particularly strong,” INTL FCStone analyst Edward Meir said in a note.
“Even Chinese offtake itself is vulnerable to a slowdown if a resurging real estate sector falls victim to a slowdown, now made more likely by the fact that the authorities are trying to temper the price spiral ... in a number of cities.”
Also worrying for copper bulls was a near 15 percent drop in Chinese imports last month.
Aluminium closed up 0.2 percent at $1,731, zinc gained 0.4 percent to $2,478, lead rose 1.8 percent to $2,125 and tin fell 1.4 percent to $21,545.
Tin earlier matched Monday’s $22,000 a tonne, its highest since August 2014. It has been boosted by worries about shortages and low stocks in LME-approved warehouses.
Nickel rose 1.2 percent to $11,260 a tonne from an earlier $11,370, its highest since July last year, as funds piled in on forecasts of deficits this year and next.
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 ($1 = 6.7840 Chinese yuan renminbi)
Additional reporting by James Regan; Editing by Susan Fenton/Ruth Pitchford