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METALS-Copper falls as rising inventories pressure

HANOI, April 13 (Reuters) - Copper prices fell on Tuesday, as increasing inventories in global exchanges signalled a weaker-than-expected demand pickup in top consumer China in its traditionally strong season.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.2% to $8,841.50 a tonne by 0126 GMT, while the most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange declined 0.5% to 65,750 yuan ($10,046.91) a tonne.

Inventories in LME-approved warehouses MCUSTX-TOTAL hit 165,625 tonnes, their highest since Nov. 11, while stockpiles in warehouses tracked by ShFE CU-STX-SGH have been hovering around their 11-month high.

Yangshan copper premium SMM-CUYP-CN was last at $51 a tonne, hovering around its lowest since Nov. 20, indicating weakening demand for imported metal into China.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME aluminium rose 0.2% to $2,265.50 a tonne, zinc advanced 0.2% to $2,762 a tonne, while tin fell 0.1% to $25,535 a tonne.

* ShFE nickel dropped 2.2% to 121,810 yuan a tonne, tracking overnight loss in London after Russia’s Nornickel said it would fully restart operations this month at a major mine hit by flooding, earlier than expected.

* ShFE aluminium increased 0.1% to 17,430 yuan a tonne, zinc fell 1.9% to 21,335 yuan a tonne, while tin was down 1.2% to 176,800 yuan a tonne.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asia share markets were cautious after U.S. markets weakened as investors anticipated the start of corporate earnings seasons and the release of key inflation data to indicate how the global recovery from the pandemic will emerge.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0600 UK GDP Est 3M/3/M Feb

0600 UK GDP Estimate MM, YY Feb

0830 UK Manufacturing Output MM Feb

0900 Germany ZEW Economic Sentiment April

0900 Germany ZEW Current Conditions April

1230 US CPI MM, SA March

N/A China Exports, Imports YY March

N/A China Trade Balance March

$1 = 6.5443 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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