METALS-London copper rises as dollar weakens after Powell's dovish comments

(Updates prices)

By Mai Nguyen

July 29 (Reuters) - London copper prices rose on Thursday as the dollar weakened after Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said rate increases were distant, making greenback-priced metals cheaper to holders of other currencies.

The dollar slipped to multi-week lows in Asian trading on Thursday.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.9% to $9,776.50 a tonne by 0711 GMT, while the most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed 0.7% lower at 71,610 yuan ($11,066.64) a tonne, tracking overnight losses in London.

However, physical demand in top consumer China is yet to improve strongly.

"Investment is still the main factor (to watch) as exports meet the limit of capacity and transportation," said a China-based trader, referring to the high freight costs due to the pandemic.

The United States and Europe will recover fast after their economies reopen, but the Chinese economy will slow down in the second half due to high raw material prices and China's central bank reduced reserve rate to offset that, said the trader.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME nickel rose 1.2% to $19,770 a tonne, tin advanced 1.5% to $34,920 a tonne, ShFE nickel climbed 1% to 147,500 yuan a tonne and ShFE aluminium rose 1.2% to 19,680 yuan a tonne.

* The premium of LME cash aluminium over the three-month contract stretched to $9.25 a tonne, the most since June 17, indicating tightening nearby supplies.

* Copper prices are set to extend their retreat from record highs in the coming months, under pressure from rising mine supply and China's drive to cap commodity prices, a Reuters poll found.

* The union at BHP Group Ltd's (BHP) Escondida copper mine in Chile, the world's largest, on Wednesday urged its members to vote to strike, saying the company was attempting to impose its will and its contract offer was "insufficient".

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($1 = 6.4708 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Amy Caren Daniel)

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