Copper rose in New York, reducing a third weekly drop, on speculation buyers in top global consumer China may capitalise on lower prices to rebuild stockpiles amid expectations of a shortage. Shipments into China reached a six-month high in July, figures showed this month. Copper has dropped 11 per cent in August in New York trading. Stockpiles monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell for the first time in six weeks, figures showed yesterday. \"The only comfort the bulls can take is that China, the elephant in the room in base-metal markets these days, is unlikely to slow sharply,\" David Thurtell, head of metals research at Citigroup Inc in Singapore, said by e-mail. Copper for December delivery gained 1.9 cents, or 0.5 per cent, to $4.005 a pound in early morning on the Comex in New York, erasing a drop of as much as 1 per cent. Prices were down 0.7 per cent last week. Copper for three-month delivery rose 0.7 per cent to $8,830 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange.