SYDNEY, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Profit-taking drove base metals lower on Thursday after supply concerns in China lifted recent sessions, traders said, with zinc retreating from 10-year highs.
China has been curbing domestic output of industrial materials, primarily from ageing plants and mines, curbs that are expected to result in higher demand for imports.
Three-month LME zinc was down 0.9 percent to $3,273 tonne by 0200 GMT. In intraday trading on Wednesday the metal, used to rust-proof steel, touched $3,308.75, its highest since August 2007.
* CHINA IMPORTS: China's zinc imports, at 65,609 tonnes in August, are up nearly 160 percent over the same month last year. But the year-to-date total at 314,086 tonnes is down nearly 6 percent.
* PHILIPPINES: The nickel market is waiting to see what the new Philippine environment secretary, Roy Cimatu, has in store for the world's top nickel ore supplier after his predecessor sought wide-scale mine shutdowns. Three-month nickel was modestly lower at $10,600 a tonne after slipping 0.5 percent overnight.
* LEAD: Benchmark lead slipped 1.1 percent to $2,531 a tonne. In the previous session, the metal, used to make batteries, rose to $2,620.50, its highest since August 2011. The environmental crackdown in China has also reduced supplies of lead, which is mined alongside zinc.
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* OTHER METALS: Three-month copper slipped marginally to $6,519.50 a tonne, while aluminium was off 0.05 percent to $2,156.25 a tonne.
* SHFE CLOSED: Shanghai Futures Exchange is closed for a week-long public holiday in China.
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* Asian shares were a tad firmer on Thursday, taking their cues from strong U.S. data although holiday-thinned trade and uncertainty about the impact of recent hurricanes on the U.S. economy are likely to keep investors cautious.
DATA AHEAD (GMT)
1230 U.S. International trade Aug 1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims 1400 U.S. Factory orders Aug
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
Most active ShFE nickel
Three month LME tin
Most active ShFE tin
(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Kenneth Maxwell)