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Copper prices in London fell on Thursday and were on track for their first monthly decline since May on tepid consumption amid slowing economic growth in top consumer China.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange declined 0.2% to $8,452.50 per metric ton by 0244 GMT. On a monthly basis, the contract was down 4.3%.

China’s manufacturing activity contracted for a fifth straight month in August, an official survey showed, extending a streak of weak macroeconomic data that have weighed on metals prices.

A stronger dollar this month also made greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies.

However, the Chinese data maintained pressure on officials to provide support to shore up economic growth amid soft demand both at home and abroad, which would benefit metals demand.

London copper dips in cautious trade ahead of key data

The most-traded October copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.2% to 69,450 yuan ($9,531.19) a ton, aluminium increased 1% to 18,910 yuan and zinc advanced 0.5% to 20,990 yuan.

SHFE lead edged up 0.3% at 16,300 yuan a ton, tin climbed 1% to 215,540 yuan, while nickel fell 0.7% to 164,270 yuan.

LME aluminium rose 0.1% to $2,202.50 a ton, lead increased 0.2% to $2,187.50, tin was up 0.4% at $25,570 while nickel fell 0.7% to $20,480 and zinc eased 0.1% to $2,433.

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