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METALS-London copper falls on U.S.-China tension, stronger dollar

(Updates prices)

Sept 8 (Reuters) - London copper prices slid on Tuesday, hit by rising tension between the United States and China and a stronger U.S. dollar that makes greenback-priced metals more expensive for holders of other currencies.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.1% to $6,780 a tonne at 0704 GMT, while the most-traded October copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 0.6% to 52,590 yuan ($7,699.63) a tonne.

“The overall trend for copper is for price to be flat and backwardation creeps higher, with some sharp pullbacks whenever (U.S. President Donald) Trump threatens something with China,” said a Singapore-based metals trader.

Another risk was a higher U.S. dollar during the Brexit negotiation period, the trader added.

The dollar held steady on Tuesday as investors weighed whether an accommodative turn from the European Central Bank later this week could hit the euro.

Trump on Monday again raised the idea of separating the U.S. and Chinese economies, also known as decoupling.

FUNDAMENTALS

* London copper prices are supported by tight supplies in LME-approved warehouses MCUSTX-TOTAL, which dropped to a near 15-year low and pushed the premium of cash copper over the three-month contract CMCU0-3 to $21.75 a tonne.

* Chinese refined copper prices SMM-CU-REF rose to 52,640 yuan a tonne, their highest since July 13, indicating a pickup in demand for the metal in its biggest consuming market.

* The discount of cash zinc to the three-month contract CMZN0-3 stretched to $31 a tonne, its biggest since November 2013, indicating abundant nearby supplies.

* LME zinc fell 1% to $2,484 a tonne and tin declined 0.2% to $18,300 a tonne. ShFE aluminium rose 0.4% to 14,485 yuan a tonne, nickel edged up 0.1% to 119,610 yuan a tonne and zinc decreased 0.3% to 19,800 yuan a tonne.

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$1 = 6.8302 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Mark Potter

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