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METALS-Copper dips on tepid Chinese demand, U.S. stimulus uncertainty

(Updates prices)

Aug 13 (Reuters) - London copper fell on Thursday as seasonally weak demand from top consumer China and uncertainty over an additional U.S. stimulus package pressured prices.

Three-month copper, often used as a gauge to global economic health, on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.8% to $6,382.50 a tonne by 0705 GMT.

The most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 0.7% at 50,410 yuan ($7,261.70)a tonne, tracking overnight gains in London.

“Chinese demand in Q3 is traditionally weak. We need to wait for at least one to two weeks for copper prices to float around this level until there’s a clearer signal,” said copper analyst He Tianyu of CRU Group.

“Refined copper consumption is often weak in July and August, especially in the wire-rod sector. September is usually better for demand,” he said.

The U.S. Republican White House and congressional Democrats have been in a headlock for days trying to come up with a U.S. coronavirus bill.

Prices were also pressured by U.S.-China tensions ahead of a crucial weekend meeting between trade officials from both countries.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Chile’s state-run miner Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, expects quick progress in ramping up processing capacity at its Chuquicamata underground project.

* China’s copper premiums at bonded warehouses were hovering around a four-month low at $81.50 a tonne, Shanghai Metal Exchange data showed, as import arbitrage was closed.

* Weaker Chinese demand can be seen through rising copper stocks in ShFE warehouses CU-STX-SGH, while a decline in inventories in LME warehouses MCUSTX-TOTAL lent prices some support.

* Aluminium prices edged down 0.2% to $1,784 a tonne in London and advanced 0.8% to 14,360 yuan a tonne in Shanghai. LME lead fell 1% to $1,938 a tonne, while ShFE lead dropped 0.7% to 16,010 yuan a tonne.

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$1 = 6.9419 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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