METALS--Copper firms after Chinese trade data beats forecasts

* Chinese imports, exports beat forecsts in May

* LME copper stockpiles drop another 7,875 T

* LME/ShFE arb: http://tmsnrt.rs/2oQ5nm2 (Updates throughout, adds LONDON dateline)

LONDON, June 8 (Reuters) - Copper rose on Thursday, continuing this week's recovery from its lowest level in nearly three weeks as better than expected Chinese economic data allayed some concerns about oversupply.

China reported stronger than expected exports and imports for May despite falling commodity prices, suggesting that the economy is holding up better than feared. China's unwrought copper arrivals also jumped month on month.

However, the metal remains vulnerable to further losses after pulling back 8 percent from mid-February highs, analysts said, on the prospect of slackening growth in China and tightening U.S. monetary policy.

"The market will grab any good news it can get, but the overall picture here is that we are looking at a softer Chinese economy, and in general a global economy that will not push ahead with the pace we saw in the first quarter," said Danske Bank analyst Jens Pedersen.

"That gives limited upside to copper."

* LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper rose 1.2 percent to $5,688.50 a tonne by 0950 GMT.

* INVENTORIES: Copper stocks in LME warehouses <MCU-STOCKS> fell by 7,875 tonnes on Wednesday to 286,350 tonnes, continuing their retreat from early May's seven-month high. They have declined almost 20 percent from that peak.

* TECHNICALS: LME copper is expected to test support at $5,641 a tonne, a break above which could cause a retreat to the next support at $5,599, said Reuters technical analyst Wang Tao.

* FINANCIAL MARKETS: European stocks edged higher and the euro and pound held steady as markets readied for a triple dose of excitement -- an ECB meeting, a British election and testimony by the ex-FBI chief fired by U.S. President Donald Trump last month.

* UK ELECTION: British Prime Minister Theresa May goes to the polls on Thursday in an election she called to strengthen her hand in looming Brexit talks, with her personal authority at stake.

* CHILE RAINS: Mines in northern Chile have suspended key operations after heavy rains lashed the high-altitude desert region of Antofagasta overnight and into Wednesday, companies told Reuters.

* NICKEL: Global nickel miners are coming under renewed pressure to cut costs or close capacity as a flood of cheap ore pushes prices to one-year lows, with analysts seeing little prospect of recovery. LME nickel was up 0.7 percent at $8,875 a tonne.

* OTHER METALS: LME tin gained 0.1 percent to $19,335 a tonne, aluminum rose 0.5 percent to $1,915, zinc was up 1.5 percent at $2,483 and lead advanced by 1.3 percent to $2,088.50.

(Additional reporting by Melanie Burton in Melbourne; Editing by David Goodman)