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Copper prices rise on China demand hope

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Updates prices as on 0718 GMT

Dec 8 (Reuters) -Copper prices advanced on Friday, buoyed by expectations of improving demand from top metals consumer China after the country's exports data showed signs of recovery.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 was up 0.2% at $8,361.50 per metric ton by 0718 GMT, while the most-traded January copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SCFcv1 increased 0.6% to 68,000 yuan ($9,499.06) a ton.

Copper is often used as a gauge of global economic health due to its wide application in many industries.

China's exports grew for the first time in six months in November and its copper imports climbed 10.1% from the prior month to the highest in almost two years.

"This could indicate that the weakness in external driven demand for the country's products is nearing its end," said ANZ analysts in a note.

"Its economy appears to be using increasingly large amounts of commodities, with imports rising strongly across the board."

The premium to import copper into China SMM-CUYP-CN hovered around a one-year high level at $112.50 a ton.

However, on a weekly basis, LME copper is set for the first fall in four as a stronger dollar made greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies.

Both LME aluminium CMAL3 and LME zinc CMZN3 were on track for the biggest weekly decline since Oct. 6.

LME tin CMSN3 is set for the biggest weekly gain since July 7, up 3.1%.

SHFE aluminium SAFcv1 rose 0.3% to 18,490 yuan, nickel SNIcv1 climbed 3.4% to 133,820 yuan, zinc SZNcv1 advanced 0.8% to 20,725 yuan, tin SSNcv1 was nearly flat at 207,050 yuan, while lead SPBcv1 shed 0.7% to 15,410 yuan.

LME aluminium increased 1.1% to $2,155.50 a ton, nickel CMNI3 rose 1.7% to $16,795, zinc climbed 0.7% to $2,423.50, lead CMPB3 advanced 0.4% to $2,025 and tin edged down 0.8% at $24,485.

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($1 = 7.1586 yuan)

Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips, Sohini Goswami and Rashmi Aich

 For related news and prices, click on the codes in brackets: LME price overview RING= COMEX copper futures 0#HG: All metals news MTL All commodities news C 
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