METALS-Copper slips with oil, eyes China's factory output data
* Improving China data underpins industrial metals
* Market constrained by upcoming Fed tapering decision
* Coming Up: China industrial output for August at 0530 GMT
(Adds comment, detail, updates prices) SINGAPORE, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Copper edged down on Tuesday as easing oil prices eroded support for industrial metals, but was underpinned by steady if unspectacular Chinese demand ahead. The metal has risen more than 8 percent since touching three-year lows in June, on mounting evidence that a slowdown in number one metals consumer China may be bottoming out. Crude oil futures dropped to a one-week low below $113 a barrel on Tuesday as supply fears abated after Russia offered to help put Syria's chemical weapons under international control, calming fears of an imminent strike against the country. Lower oil prices reduce metals input costs and also prices. "We have a seen a stream of positive data out of China including strong export data on Sunday but until we see signs of a significant turnaround and a decision on U.S. tapering that will continue to weigh on industrial metals," said Tim Radford of Sydney-based advisor Rivkin. China's exports rose more than expected in August, and muted inflation data added to the positive sentiment.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged down 0.43 percent to $7,165.25 a tonne by 0403 GMT. The most-traded December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slipped 0.88 percent to 51,800 yuan ($8,500) a tonne. Radford added that large businesses were likely to hold off big decisions until the U.S. makes clear the scale of its tapering program later this month, suggesting metals prices were likely to stay constrained until then. Disappointing U.S jobs data last week eased expectations that the Federal Reserve would begin paring back its stimulus programme. Loose monetary policy adopted by central banks in the last few years has drawn investors to commodities as an alternative to interest-bearing assets. U.S. Federal Reserve officials will meet Sept 17-18.
Three month LME copper Most active ShFE copper Three month LME aluminium Most active ShFE aluminium Three month LME zinc Most active ShFE zinc Three month LME lead Most active ShFE lead Three month LME nickel Three month LME tin ($1 = 6.1210 Chinese yuan)
(Editing by Michael Urquhart)