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METALS-London copper hits 3-year high, breaking $7,000/T, on rosier China economy

economy@ (Adds comment, detail, updates prices) MELBOURNE, Oct 16 (Reuters) - London copper prices charged through the $7,000 mark for the first time in three years on Monday, underpinned by improving manufacturing profits in China that pointed to robust growth in the world's top user of metals. China's producer price inflation unexpectedly accelerated to a six-month high in September as a construction boom showed no signs of abating and as a government crackdown on air pollution triggered fears of winter shortages. The inflation reading followed data showing China's copper imports surged in September, fuelling optimism about demand, said analyst Helen Lau of broker Argonaut Securities in Hong Kong. "Based on these quite solid fundamentals, people will react very positively to any newsflow on copper," she said.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper struck $7,083.50 a tonne, the highest since September 2014, and traded at $7,058 by 0550 GMT, up 2.6 percent. Prices have climbed nearly 9 percent so far this month and are up 27 percent year to date, the biggest annual gain since 2010.

* SHANGHAI COPPER: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper rallied 3 pct to 55,000 yuan ($8,364), the highest since February 2013.

* CHINA COPPER: China's unwrought copper imports surged by 26.5 percent in September from a year ago, customs data showed on Friday, but remained on course for an annual drop in 2017.

* CHINA ECONOMY: China's economy is expected to grow 7 percent in the second half of this year, the country's central bank governor said, defying economists' expectations for a slowdown.

* OIL: Supporting oil prices, Iraqi forces began moving at midnight on Sunday towards oil fields held by Kurdish Peshmerga fighters near the oil-rich city of Kirkuk.

* ALUMINIUM: The Chinese city of Binzhou, home to top global aluminium producer China Hongqiao Group, has ordered the closure of around 2.57 million tonnes of smelting capacity this winter, according to Reuters calculations based on government document.

* COPPER, ALUMINIUM: In a potential boost to U.S. copper and aluminium demand, the Trump administration is requiring the use of North American-made steel, aluminium, copper and plastic resins in cars and trucks sold under North American Free Trade Agreement rules.

* COPPER INVESTORS: Hedge funds and money managers raised their net long positions in copper futures and options for the first time in five weeks, in the week to Oct. 10, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday.

* COMING UP: China is in the midst of publishing September data, culminating in its third-quarter gross domestic product number on Thursday. The twice-in-a-decade Communist Party congress will begin on Wednesday where President Xi Jinping is expected to strengthen his grip on power in a major party leadership reshuffle. PRICES

BASE METALS PRICES 0630 GMT Three month LME copper 7059.5 Most active ShFE copper 54890 Three month LME aluminium 2148.5 Most active ShFE aluminium 16485 Three month LME zinc 3272 Most active ShFE zinc 26280 Three month LME lead 2566.5 Most active ShFE lead 20575 Three month LME nickel 11715 Most active ShFE nickel 93570 Three month LME tin 20765 Most active ShFE tin 147910

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE

LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 679.27 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 5.83 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 606.33 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 -195.35 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 2460.76

($1 = 6.5755 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Tom Hogue and Sonali Paul)