September 14, 2015 / 2:38 AM / in 5 years

METALS-LME copper slips from near 2-mth top as China concerns persist

* Speculators cut short copper position in latest week - CFTC

* China factory, IP numbers disappoint at the weekend

* Coming Up: Euro zone Industrial production Jul at 0900 GMT (Adds detail; updates prices)

By Melanie Burton

MELBOURNE, Sept 14 (Reuters) - London copper turned lower on Monday amid persistent concerns about the pace of China’s growth, while a soft dollar cushioned losses as traders looked ahead to this week’s pivotal Federal Reserve monetary policy decision.

“I do see a Fed hike, I do see the dollar strengthening and I think in that world it’s going to be tough for the metals to do really well,” said analyst Dominic Schnider of UBS Wealth Management in Hong Kong.

The dollar held at its weakest since late August against a basket of currencies on Monday, adding support to metals that are facing headwinds from prospects of slowing demand in China, the world’s top consumer of metals.

A softer dollar boosts buying power of commodities priced in the greenback for those paying with other currencies.

The Fed holds its two-day meeting on Sept. 16-17 and markets are still guessing whether the central bank will hike rates then, or opt for December or early next year.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange slipped by 1.2 percent to $5,309.50 a tonne by 0705 GMT, following small losses in the previous session when it logged its largest weekly advance since May. LME copper struck its highest since July 22 at $5,435 a tonne on Thursday.

Shanghai Futures Exchange copper slid 1.2 percent to 40,620 yuan ($6,378) a tonne.

Growth in China’s investment and factory output missed forecasts in August, pointing to a further cooling in the world’s second-largest economy that will likely prompt the government to roll out more support measures.

“The Chinese numbers released at the weekend showed a lot of promise but are yet to translate into firmer demand - no reason to get euphoric. This week should not be as supportive for metals,” Schnider added.

China unveiled details on Sunday of how it would restructure its state-owned enterprises (SOEs), including partial privatisation.

Miners have begun to cut copper output in response to prices that have been stuck near six-year lows, which has brightened the outlook for prices and helped turnaround investor sentiment.

Hedge funds and money managers cut their net short position in copper contracts in the week ended Sept. 8, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed.

But output cuts that threaten jobs may prove problematic. Zambia will revoke the licence of China’s CNMC Luanshya Copper Mines if the company does not reinstate workers sent on forced leave, a government spokesman said.

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

$1 = 6.3687 Chinese yuan Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Richard Pullin and Subhranshu Sahu

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