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METALS--Copper drifts lower ahead of quarter end, China holiday

MELBOURNE, Sept 28 (Reuters) - London copper fell slightly on Thursday after rising in the previous session. Prices are underpinned by solid industrial profits in China that allayed concerns about slowing growth and demand for metal but direction was limited ahead of the end of the third quarter and before China, the world's biggest user of industrial metals, shuts for holidays next week.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper eased lower by 0.1 percent to $6,430 a tonne by 0255 GMT, paring back gains made in the previous session. Prices have fallen in six of the last seven sessions.

* SHFE COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) copper edged up by 0.2 percent to 50,460 yuan ($7,589) a tonne.

* NICKEL: ShFE nickel slid by 1.6 percent to 83,270 yuan.

* U.S. ECONOMY: New orders for U.S.-made capital goods increased more than expected in August and shipments maintained their upward trend, pointing to underlying strength in the economy despite an anticipated drag on growth from Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

* U.S. MANUFACTURING: President Donald Trump said on Wednesday an unnamed foreign leader told him at the United Nations last week that the country would soon announce plans to build or expand five automobile industry factories in the United States.

* U.S. TAX: President Donald Trump proposed on Wednesday the biggest U.S. tax overhaul in three decades, calling for tax cuts for most Americans, but prompting criticism that the plan favours business and the rich and could add trillions of dollars to the deficit.

* CHINA CARS: China may join Britain and France in banning new petrol and diesel cars from 2040 and could set an earlier deadline, the secretary-general of the World Energy Council (WEC) said.

* CHINA ECONOMY: Profits at China's industrial companies rose 24 percent in August from a year earlier, accelerating from the previous month and helping to ease worries about slowing economic growth.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares were firm on Thursday while U.S. bond yields and the dollar held sizable gains made the previous day after President Donald Trump proposed the biggest U.S. tax overhaul in three decades.

DATA/EVENTS

0900 E.U. Business Climate Sept 1230 U.S. GDP Final Q2 1230 U.S. Core PCE Prices Final Q2 1230 U.S. Adv Goods Trade Balance Aug 1230 U.S. Initial Jobless Claims weekly

PRICES

BASE METALS PRICES 0230 GMT Three month LME copper 6423 Most active ShFE copper 50270 Three month LME aluminium 2131.5 Most active ShFE aluminium 16365 Three month LME zinc 3112 Most active ShFE zinc 25585 Three month LME lead 2460 Most active ShFE lead 20520 Three month LME nickel 10280 Most active ShFE nickel 83250 Three month LME tin 20690 Most active ShFE tin 146390

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE

LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 384.83 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -66.75 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 802.02 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 358.22 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 3241.64

($1 = 6.6491 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)