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REFILE-METALS-London copper edges higher as Chinese power worry calms

(Corrects to add dropped words in fifth paragraph)

Oct 4 (Reuters) - London copper rose in thin trade on Monday, with some investors picking up the battered metal after last week’s drop, as concerns over energy shortage in China calmed.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange edged up 0.2% to $9,147.50 a tonne by 0724 GMT, recovering slightly from the previous week’s 2.2% fall.

Trading volume was low as Chinese markets were closed for a week-long public holiday.

Widespread power shortage in China has raised concerns of slower growth and muted metals demand but Chinese premier Li Keqiang said last week the country will ensure its power supply and keep economic operations within a reasonable range.

“One set of opinions is that China will be able to adjust and there will not be the dramatic drop in industrial activity that was at first feared,” said Malcolm Freeman, a director at broker Kingdom Futures, referring to the power issue, but noting that recently weak Chinese factory data would still put a lid on metals prices.

Copper prices were also supported by low warehouse stocks. Inventories in ShFE warehouses CU-STX-SGH were at their lowest since June 2009 at 43,525 tonnes, while LME stockpiles MCUSTX-TOTAL fell to 217,175 tonnes by Sept. 30, down 14% so far in September, latest exchange data showed.

LME aluminium advanced 0.6% to $2,874 a tonne, nickel increased 0.4% to $18,040 a tonne, zinc was up 0.7% at $3,004 a tonne while lead fell 0.4% to $2,132.50 a tonne and tin shed 0.4% to $33,695 a tonne.


* The difference between LME cash nickel and the three-month contract CMNI0-3 flipped to a discount of $1 a tonne after staying in premium since Aug. 25, indicating easing tightness in nearby inventories.

* COMEX alumina futures shot up 21.4% on Friday to $465 a tonne, the highest since Oct. 31, 2018, after Noble Group Holdings said its Jamalco refinery would not resume full production until the end of September 2022.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or (Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Additional reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu and Rashmi Aich)