LONDON, Aug 2 (Reuters) - Copper prices slipped on Monday,
weighed down by worries about demand after weak factory data
from the United States and top metals consumer China.
A weaker dollar, hopes for more stimulus in China and
prospects for a strike in top producer Chile cushioned the
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was
down 0.5% at $9,678 a tonne at 1600 GMT, after falling by 1% on
U.S. manufacturing activity grew at a slower pace in July
for the second straight month, while China's factory activity
expanded at the slowest pace in 17 months.
Copper prices were firmer during most of the session ahead
of the release of the U.S. factory figures.
Metals are expected to retain an upside bias during the rest
of the month, said Gianclaudio Torlizzi, partner at consultancy
T-Commodity in Milan.
"The outlook for all base metals is bullish in August,
supported by a weaker dollar after the latest dovish comments
from the Fed. There are all the conditions for a spike higher,"
Torlizzi said he had taken bullish positions in copper,
aluminium and nickel recently, and was targeting copper
revisiting its record peak of $10,747.50, aluminium climbing to
$2,700 and nickel rising to $21,000.
LME aluminium rose 1% to $2,616.50 a tonne, while
nickel CMNI3> shed 0.2% to $19,505.
* Also weighing on copper was profit-taking in options ahead
of the LME option expiry on Wednesday, Alistair Munro at broker
Marex said in a note.
* The dollar index lurched back towards the one-month
low hit last week, making dollar-priced metals cheaper to
holders of other currencies.
* The union of workers at BHP Group Ltd's Escondida
copper mine, the world's largest, rejected the firm's final
labour contract offer.
* LME cash zinc has moved to a premium of $1.50 over the
three-month contract <CMZN0-3>, the first time in more than a
year it has been more expensive, indicating tighter supply
* LME zinc rose 0.2% to $3,033.50 a tonne, lead
gained 0.7% to $2,398 and tin climbed 0.5% to
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(Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi
Editing by Mark Potter and David Holmes)