MELBOURNE, Dec 21 (Reuters) - London copper slipped on Thursday from a near two-month high hit the session before on
year-end profit-taking, with prices supported by a softer dollar and a sturdy demand outlook from China. Chinese demand growth is expected to be slow but stable into
2018, while the pickup in global activity should support copper demand, National Australia Bank said in a report. "Downside risks remain around China's property market
outlook, where lower population growth, tighter credit conditions and weaker price growth could see real estate investment growth slow," it said. 
NAB expects a small market deficit in 2018, with prices averaging $6,645 a tonne. FUNDAMENTALS: * COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper edged down by
0.1 percent to $7034 a tonne by 0517 GMT, as traders took profits after prices jumped to the highest in nearly two months 
at $7,070.50 on Wednesday, when prices closed up 1.5 pct. * OPEN INTEREST: Open interest in all major LME contracts has fallen this week, reflecting that traders are closing their
positions ahead of year-end and suggesting short-covering has fuelled copper's gains back above $7,000 this week. * SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper
held a 1.1 percent advance at 54,240 yuan ($8,257) a tonne. Open interest also fell. * PREMIUMS: "Shanghai bonded copper premiums remain firm as
we head into year end, trading in a $70-$80 range. Traders mentioned some tightness in terms of credit from domestic Chinese banks which could slow down imports," broker Triland
said in a report. * U.S. ECONOMY: The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives gave final approval on Wednesday to the biggest
overhaul of the U.S. tax code in 30 years, sending a sweeping $1.5 trillion tax bill to President Donald Trump for his signature.
* STRIKES: Chilean miner Antofagasta Plc said on Wednesday it had reached a new wage agreement with unionized workers at its Centinela mine, defusing the risk of a strike
amid a volatile labor landscape in the world's top copper-producing nation. * CHINA: China will deepen structural reforms and curb risks
to the country's financial system while maintaining steady economic growth in 2018, the official Xinhua news agency said on
Wednesday, citing leaders at an economic planning meeting.