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CORRECTED-METALS-Copper dips in London as signs of weakening demand weigh

(Corrects copper prices surged 46% since 2020, not 2019, in paragraph 2)

HANOI, March 12 (Reuters) - Copper prices fell in London on Friday as signs of weakening demand and higher supply pressured a stunning rally that pushed prices to their highest in nearly 10 years.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.5% to $9,016 a tonne by 0258 GMT. The contract has surged 46% since the beginning of 2020, hitting a 9-1/2-year high of $9,617 a tonne in February.

Yangshan copper premium SMM-CUYP-CN fell to $68 a tonne, its lowest since Jan. 15, indicating weaker demand from top consumer China, while inventories have been rising in both LME and ShFE warehouses. MCUSTX-TOTALCU-STX-SGH

The premium of LME cash copper over the three-month contract CMCU0-3 fell to $11.50 a tonne, its lowest since Feb. 11, suggesting that the nearby supply tightness has eased.

Meanwhile, China’s major copper smelters raised cathode output by 3.3% month on month in February to 745,100 tonnes, research house Antaike said.

The most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced 0.6% to 66,840 yuan ($10,302.41) a tonne, tracking overnight gain in London.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME aluminium fell 0.2% to $2,173.50 a tonne, lead advanced 0.9% to $1,960.50 a tonne, while ShFE nickel fell 0.7% to 121,000 yuan a tonne and ShFE zinc climbed 1.5% to 21,750 yuan a tonne.

* Glencore-controlled Antapaccay copper mine, accounting for 8.8% of Peru’s 2020 copper output, announced the suspension of operations due to a road blockade by local communities.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares pushed higher after U.S. President Joe Biden signed a $1.9 trillion stimulus bill into law, and as a retreat in bond yields overnight eased global concerns about rising inflation.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0700 Germany HICP Final YY Feb

0700 UK GDP Est 3M/3M Jan

0700 UK GDP Estimate MM, YY Jan

0700 UK Manufacturing Output MM Jan

1500 US U Mich Sentiment Prelim March

$1 = 6.4878 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen; editing by Uttaresh.V

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