By James Regan
SYDNEY May 10 London copper turned negative in late Asia trading on Wednesday amid ongoing concerns over rising supply and disappointing Chinese import data.
The benchmark London Metal Exchange contract stayed mostly in positive territory before succumbing to a wave of selling in the afternoon, traders said.
The bearish tone was in contrast to Asian stocks strengthening for a third consecutive day, with investors focused on strong corporate earnings and a weaker U.S. dollar.
* LONDON COPPER: Three-month LME copper was 0.02 percent lower at $5,502 a tonne by 0700 GMT, reversing the previous session's modest gains.
* SHANGHAI COPPER: The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced 0.36 percent to 44,860 yuan ($6,496) a tonne.
* COPPER STOCKS: Daily LME data showed copper stocks down 8,725 tonnes, but they remain near their highest since last October following hefty inflows to LME warehouses last week.
* MINE SALE: BHP Billiton said it had started a sales process to potentially divest its Cerro Colorado copper mine in Chile.
*LESS SCRAP: Supply of copper scrap has tightened recently after growing in the first quarter, while disruptions at major mines earlier in 2017 are hitting availability of the metal, the co-founder of metals hedge fund RK Capital Management said.
* CHINA IMPORTS: The pullback in China's imports in April of crude oil and major bulk commodities, except coal, is more of a reminder that strong gains can't last forever than a warning that demand is waning in the world's biggest importer of natural resources.
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
ARBS ($1 = 6.9060 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by James Regan; Editing by Biju Dwarakanath)