BEIJING, Jan 16 (Reuters) - London copper prices advanced
for a second straight session on Wednesday, as a weaker dollar
made the base metal cheaper for holders of other currencies, and
indications of more stimulus from top consumer China buoyed
investor sentiment.
    In a sign of improving liquidity, Chinese banks extended far
more new loans in December than expected, bringing last year's
tally to a record $2.4 trillion.
    Visible copper stocks around the world are "relatively low"
and could support prices, brokerage GF Futures said in a note,
but warned that Chinese copper demand could still take a turn
for the worse. 
    China copper import premiums SMM-CUYP-CN have risen to $73
a tonne from an 18-month low of $62.50 in early December,
indicating greater near-term demand for the physical metal.
    
   FUNDAMENTALS
    * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange was up 0.5 percent at $5,948 a tonne, as of
0457 GMT, extending Tuesday's 0.4 percent gain.
    * SHFE COPPER: The most-traded March copper contract on the
Shanghai Futures Exchange was up 0.7 percent at 47,210
yuan ($6,975.99) a tonne by the end of the morning session,
heading for its first session of gain in four. "Shanghai copper
is expected to continue its downward trend in the short term but
today it may be able to usher in a technical correction," GF
Futures said.
    * BREXIT: British lawmakers defeated Prime Minister Theresa
May's Brexit divorce deal by a crushing margin on Tuesday,
triggering political chaos.
    * CHINA: China on Tuesday signalled more stimulus measures
in the near term as it aims to achieve "a good start to 2019" in
the first quarter.
    * ALUMINA: Norsk Hydro said Brazil's northern state
of Para has lifted a production embargo on its Alunorte alumina
refinery but noted full production will not resume until a
federal court follows suit.
    * OTHER METALS: Zinc rose as much as 2.1 percent in Shanghai
 to 20,785 yuan a tonne, the highest since Dec. 27,
2018. The metal used to galvanise steel was also up 1.4 percent
in London. Shanghai nickel jumped as much as
1.6 percent to 93,170 yuan a tonne, its highest since Dec. 3,
2018.