SHANGHAI, Aug 13 (Reuters) - Shanghai copper prices hit their upside limit in the first few minutes of trade on Thursday, excited by London's gains in the previous session, when investors were enthused by the U.S. Federal Reserve's comments that the country's economy was showing signs of levelling out. FUNDAMENTALS

* Shanghai's benchmark third-month copper futures SCFc3 rose by 5 percent from the settlement in the previous session to 50,340 yuan ($7,366) a tonne, before easing to 49,800 yuan a tonne by 0113 GMT.

* The most-active Shanghai copper contract for November delivery SCFX9 also hit its upside limit of 50,280 yuan a tonne, before easing to 49,560 yuan.

* Copper for three-month delivery on the London Metal Exchange MCU3 gained $80 to $6,270 a tonne. It hit $6,285 earlier, its highest since October 1 last year.

* The Federal Reserve saw the recession was nearing an end, and decided to keep its benchmark short-term interest rate steady near zero, and to extend the duration, not the size, of the Treasury purchases program. [ID:nN1272730]

* Metals consultancy GFMS expected copper prices to go through a correction in the summer before rising to $6,500 as consumption begins to recover in the fourth quarter. [ID:nLC611229]

* LME aluminium MAL3 edged down $5 to $1,980 a tonne, recovering from $1,891 a tonne, its lowest since August 3 hit in the previous session.

* LME aluminium prices have risen nearly 31 percent so far this year, which is expected to encourage restarts of idled capacity and launch of new projects, which will force the market to stay in surplus for the foreseeable future, analysts said in a Reuters survey. [ID:nLB702834]


* The U.S. dollar kept broad gains on the yen on Thursday after the Federal Reserve painted a less gloomy outlook for the U.S. economy, leading investors to return to commodity-linked currencies in droves. [USD/]

* The comment from the Federal Reserve also helped push up U.S. stocks, with the Dow Jones industrial average .DJI up 1.3 percent. [.N]


* The following data is expected on Thursday:

- German flash GDP for Q2 (0600 GMT)

- French preliminary GDP for Q2 (0645 GMT)

- Swiss combined producer/import prices for July (0715 GMT)

- ECB publishes monthly bulletin (0800 GMT)

- Eurozone flash GDP figure for Q2 (0900 GMT)

- U.S. import/export prices for July (1230 GMT)

- Weekly U.S. jobless claims (1230 GMT)

- U.S. retails sales for July (1230 GMT)

- U.S. business inventories for June (1400 GMT)

RELATED NEWS > Copper rises after hours [ID:nLC333623] > Chinese copper-treatment deals sharply lower [ID:nLC622369] > GFMS sees copper summer correction, Q4 recovery [ID:nLC611229] > Aurubis sees Q4 profit, copper product rebound [ID:nLC332809] > Zambia won't refund controversial mine tax [ID:nLC661550] > Indian Maoists threaten to attack NALCO mine [ID:nSP538731] > Indonesia to buy shares in Newmont (NEM.N: Quote, Profile, Research) unit[ID:nJAK452038] > Japan aluminium stocks hit record low in July [ID:nT19390] > POLL-Aluminium market to stay in surplus [ID:nLB702834] > Reuters survey on metals market balances [ID:nL372807] > TABLE-US base metal imports:aly up from yr [ID:nN12273454] > TABLE-Survey on metals market move into deficit [ID:nLB708171]

PRICES Base metals prices at 0113 GMT Metal Last Change Pct chg Day ago pct MA 30 RSI LME copper $6,270.00 $80.00 +1.29% +3.98% $5,466 76.0 LME alum $1,980.00 -$5.00 -0.25% +2.59% $1,782 65.8 LME zinc $1,870.00 $19.00 +1.03% +3.03% $1,672 64.4 ShFE copper 49,800

2080 +4.36% +2.47% 43,679 71.7 ShFE alum 15,210

320 +2.15% +0.23% 14,236 60.5 ShFE zinc 15,250 500 +3.39% +1.19% 14,022 64.3 Currencies Euro/dlr $1.422 $0.002 +0.13% +0.53% Dlr/yuan 6.834 -0.001 -0.02% -0.02% (Reporting by Rujun Shen and Edmund Klamann; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)