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BEIJING, May 10 (Reuters) - London copper rose for a second session on Thursday as falling inventories and strong import numbers from top consumer China continued to support prices. China imported 442,000 tonnes of unwrought copper in April, according to customs data released this week, the highest monthly total so far in 2018. FUNDAMENTALS * LME COPPER: Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 0.5 percent at $6,844.50 a tonne, as of 0146 GMT, having closed 1 percent higher in the previous session. * SHFE COPPER: The most-traded July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.7 percent to 51,250 yuan ($8,049.82) a tonne. * INVENTORIES: Copper stocks MCUSTX-TOTAL in LME-registered warehouses dropped 9,600 tonnes to 293,025 tonnes, their lowest since late January, exchange data showed on Wednesday. * ALUMINIUM: London aluminium dropped 0.9 percent to $2,345 a tonne, having gained 0.6 percent in the previous session after a drop of 21,100 tonnes in inventories. * ALUMINIUM: Japan's UACJ Corp said on Wednesday it is suspending aluminium buying from Russia's Rusal because of U.S. economic sanctions on the producer, but the company has found alternative supplies from others. * ZINC: China's refined zinc production rose 2.1 pct in April from a month earlier to 377,000 tonnes as smelters returned from maintenance, research house Antaike said in a note. * GRAPHITE: Australian-listed Syrah Resources is targeting the market for electric vehicle batteries with its Balama graphite mine in Mozambique, which started production in November. * For the top stories in metals and other news, click or MARKETS NEWS * Asian stocks rose on Thursday, with energy shares leading the way as crude oil prices bolted higher after U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of a nuclear deal with Iran. DATA AHEAD (GMT) 1230 U.S. Consumer prices April 1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims PRICES BASE METALS PRICES 0201 GMT Three month LME copper 6845.5 Most active ShFE copper 51240 Three month LME aluminium 2338.5 Most active ShFE aluminium 14615 Three month LME zinc 3093.5 Most active ShFE zinc 23820 Three month LME lead 2294.5 Most active ShFE lead 18885 Three month LME nickel 13905 Most active ShFE nickel 104490 Three month LME tin 21155 Most active ShFE tin 145690 BASE METALS ARBITRAGE LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 433.42 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -2619.17 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 461.38 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 705.09 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 -848 ($1 = 6.3666 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Tom Daly, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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