SINGAPORE, July 11 London copper steadied on Friday and was on track for a fourth consecutive week of gains on Friday with tightening global supplies and economic optimism driving prices higher.
* Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange eased 0.1 percent to $7,155 a tonne by 0120 GMT. Copper on Tuesday hit its highest in 4-1/2 months at $7,212 and was up marginally for the week, its fourth weekly gain, which would be its longest winning streak since December 2012.
* The most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gained 0.3 percent to 50,790 yuan ($8,200) a tonne.
* Copper inventory levels in LME-registered warehouses, at 158,100 tonnes, are at their lowest in nearly six years, having steadily fallen in the last 12 months. MCU-STOCKS
* Signs of global economic recovery have gathered pace following last week's strong U.S. jobs data and factory numbers from China that reinforced expectations of a pickup in demand for industrial metals.
* While Thursday's data in China, the world's biggest copper consumer, showed its trade performance improved in June, it missed market forecasts and suggested that Beijing will have to unveil more stimulus measures to stabilise the economy.
* China's copper imports fell in June to the lowest since April 2013 as banks reduced lending for metals imports following a probe into alleged fraudulent metals financing at Qingdao port.
* Standard Bank Plc said it has a total exposure related to China's Qingdao port of about $170 million worth of aluminium, and has started legal proceedings in Shandong province to protect its position.
* Societe Generale is merging its open outcry trading team on the London Metal Exchange with its unit Newedge, cutting the number of LME "ring-dealing" members to 10.
* Asian share markets slipped on Friday as troubles at a small Portuguese bank managed to wrong foot investors already made anxious by the U.S. earnings season and a spate of disappointing economic data globally.
DATA AHEAD (GMT)
0600 Germany Wholesale price index June
0645 France Current account May
1800 U.S. Federal budget June
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
Three month LME tin ($1 = 6.2022 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Naveen Thukral; Editing by Michael Perry)