MELBOURNE/BEIJING, Dec 18 (Reuters) - Copper prices fell on
Tuesday as concerns that global trade ructions would cool
economic growth were compounded by signs of rising supply, but
low inventory levels limited losses.  
    Growth concerns have been weighing on the industrial metals
sector, including copper, ANZ analysts wrote in a note, adding
that prices had been knocked by news that Vedanta Ltd
was closer to being allowed to restart its 400,000 tonnes per
year copper smelter in India.    
    "The market is focused on an upcoming economic policy
meeting in China, with expectations of further stimulus to
domestic growth," the bank added, referring to the Central
Economic Work Conference taking place in Beijing. 
    China's refined copper output rose by 7.6 percent year-on-
year to 768,000 tonnes in November, its highest level since
June, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.    
        
    FUNDAMENTALS
    * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange slipped by 0.1 percent to $6,114.50 a tonne as
of 0350 GMT. The most-traded February contract on the Shanghai
Futures Exchange fell 0.4 percent to 48,930 yuan 
($7,100.36) a tonne by the end of the morning session.    
    * CHINA ECONOMY: China should lower next year's growth
target to 6.0-6.5 percent as headwinds, including a trade
dispute with the United States, increases risks for the economy,
according to government advisers' recommendations to top leaders
who will meet to map out the 2019 economic agenda.
   * TRADE: The United States has welcomed Chinese concessions
since the two declared a trade war truce in early December, but
trade experts and people familiar with negotiations say Beijing
needs to do far more to meet U.S. demands for long-term change
in how China does business.
    * COPPER STOCKS: Offering price support to copper, stocks
MCUSTX-TOTAL on the LME are sitting at 121,800 tonnes, having
last week dipped below 120,000 to the least in more than a
decade, even as stricter regulation and costs have encouraged
some owners of metal to hold their stocks off exchange. 
    * LEAD PRODUCTION: China's lead output in November rose by
18.3 pct year on year to 484,000 tonnes, the highest monthly
total in records going back to 1995.
    * NICKEL: The global nickel market deficit widened to 19,600
tonnes in October from the previous month's revised deficit of
9,000 tonnes, the International Nickel Study Group (INSG) said.