(Adds comment and detail) MELBOURNE, Sept 8 (Reuters) - London copper turned south on Friday and was set to close the week flat, potentially ending eight straight weeks of gains, after slow and steady Chinese and global manufacturing growth fuelled the metal's longest winning run since 2006. Traders said copper broke the key support which triggered profit-taking after a 20 percent advance since June. "Copper broke key support levels. But (buying) support should be here for copper," said one trader in Asia.
* CHINA TRADE: China posted stronger-than-expected import growth in August, reinforcing views that the world's second-largest economy is still expanding at a healthy pace despite tighter policy.
* CHINA COPPER IMPORTS: China's imports of copper and copper products held steady for a fourth month, indicating demand remains robust in the world's largest consumer of the metal despite surging prices.
* "Copper imports were flattish as expected for August. In the months ahead there might be a lift in metal imports... if there is a restriction on smelter production due to environmental inspections," said analyst Daniel Morgan of UBS in Sydney. "That would be bullish for copper."
* LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper erased early gains to fall by 1.1 percent to $6,820 a tonne, as of 0750 GMT, after finishing flat in the previous session. Prices have climbed around 20 percent from the start of June.
* Copper last rose for nine weeks in a row between March and May 2006, when prices rallied more than 70 percent to $8,800 a tonne.
* SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper fell 2.5 percent to 51,740 yuan ($8,023) a tonne. Other Shanghai metals also soured, with nickel down 3 pct, aluminium losing 2.8 percent and zinc falling 2 percent.
* USD: A weaker dollar had underpinned metals gains. The dollar fell against the euro after European Central Bank head Mario Draghi said the central bank was looking at how to wind down its 60 billion-euro-a-month buying program.
* CHINA ALUMINIUM: "China's aluminium exports are the lowest since March which reflects a supply side contraction on the mainland. I would expect number to contract further in the months ahead because we have had some shuts of illegal capacity and there are going to be winter shuts from Nov. 15," Morgan said.
* LME REFORM: The LME sought on Thursday to win back trading volumes by proposing a cut in fees for trades crucial to its physical user base as rivals gear up to offer alternatives. For a factbox:
BASE METALS PRICES 0726 GMT Three month LME copper 6822 Most active ShFE copper 51740 Three month LME aluminium 2090.5 Most active ShFE aluminium 15870 Three month LME zinc 3086.5 Most active ShFE zinc 24565 Three month LME lead 2309 Most active ShFE lead 18900 Three month LME nickel 11935 Most active ShFE nickel 92740 Three month LME tin 20735 Most active ShFE tin 144500
BASE METALS ARBITRAGE
LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 342.64 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 174.75 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 843.78 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 196.68 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 1786.16
($1 = 6.4493 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Sunil Nair and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)