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METALS-Copper rises as solid Chinese exports lift recovery hopes

(Updates prices)

Sept 7 (Reuters) - Copper prices advanced on Monday as solid exports data from top consumer China signalled a faster and more balanced economic recovery in the world’s second-biggest economy, although gains were capped by lower-than-expected imports.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange had risen as much as 1.7% to $6,822.50 a tonne earlier in the session. It was up 0.6% at $6,752 a tonne by 0731 GMT.

The most-traded October copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed up 1.6% at 52,240 yuan ($7,647.49) a tonne. Earlier in the session, the contract climbed as high as 52,840 yuan a tonne.

China’s exports rose for the third consecutive month in August, eclipsing an extended fall in imports, as more of its trading partners relaxed coronavirus lockdowns in a further boost to the recovery in the world’s second-biggest economy.

“The Chinese imports missed estimate, but with further support from the Chinese authorities with infrastructure-led stimulus, import volumes should remain strong going forward,” said commodities broker Anna Stablum at Marex Spectron.

“Exports will continue to grow as the rest of the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

FUNDAMENTALS

* China’s copper imports eased in August from the previous month’s all-time high, customs data showed on Monday, as an arbitrage window to bring in overseas metal shut and demand from key consumption sectors slowed.

* Workers at Chile’s state-owned miner Codelco said they would take “action” against what they describe as threats to their jobs.

* PT Freeport Indonesia expects its annual copper and gold sales to jump next year as it transitions to operating in its underground mine.

* LME aluminium rose 0.6% to $1,798 a tonne, while nickel eased 0.2% to $15,265 a tonne. ShFE aluminium rose 1.4% to 14,480 yuan a tonne and zinc declined 0.7% to 19,805 yuan a tonne.

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$1 = 6.8310 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Devika Syamnath, Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Amy Caren Daniel

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