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METALS-London copper rises on demand view, tight mine supply

(Updates prices)

HANOI, March 17 (Reuters) - London copper prices rose on Wednesday as a bright demand outlook and supply disruptions in some South American mines offset pressure from rising LME exchange inventories.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.8% to $9,028 a tonne by 0704 GMT, while the most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed down 0.7% at 66,940 yuan ($10,298.46) a tonne.

“Fundamentals remain healthy, especially with the supply and logistics disruptions in South America, while demand outlook looks promising based on positive macro data,” said a Singapore-based copper analyst.

Data from top consumer China showed stronger-than-expected industrial growth in the first two months of 2021, while new lending in the country fell less than expected in February.

Meanwhile, tight copper concentrate supply remained a concern for downstream copper players.

“However, risk sentiment is definitely dampened with the rising U.S. Treasury yield and a stronger U.S. dollar in the short term, which definitely weighed on copper prices,” the analyst said.

FUNDAMENTALS

* The Yangshan copper premium SMM-CUYP-CN fell to $67 a tonne, its lowest since Jan. 13, indicating weakening demand for imported copper into China.

* LME refined copper inventories MCUSTX-TOTAL jumped 12% to 103,900 tonnes in one session, their highest since Jan. 8, while stockpiles in ShFE warehouses CU-STX-SGH rose to 171,794 tonnes, a level unseen since September.

* Chilean miner Antofagasta expects to reach a pay deal with its workers this month, as it extended wage talks at its Los Pelambres mine in an effort to avoid a strike.

* LME aluminium rose 0.1% to $2,203.50 a tonne, nickel declined 0.8% to $16,030 a tonne while zinc rose 0.4% to $2,822 a tonne.

* ShFE aluminium shed 0.4% to 17,710 yuan a tonne, nickel was down 1% to 120,170 yuan a tonne and zinc dropped 0.6% to 21,715 yuan a tonne.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or ($1 = 6.5000 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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