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METALS-Copper holds near record high on inflation worries, demand hopes

(Updates prices)

HANOI, May 12 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose on Wednesday, hovering near a record high hit earlier this week, as investors bought commodities to hedge against the risk of inflation and on hopes for a rise the metal’s demand.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 1.1% to $10,579 a tonne by 0716 GMT, hovering near an all-time high of $10,747.50 a tonne hit on Monday.

The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced 1% to 76,370 yuan ($11,855.75) a tonne, also near its record 78,270 yuan a tonne.

Investors are now awaiting the U.S. consumer price index report due later in the day.

Copper prices will likely rise further on looming inflation risk until China releases strategic reserves, said a Singapore-based trader.

Prices have been backed by hopes of rising copper demand in the renewable and electric vehicle sectors and as the world economy recovers from pandemic slumps, while concentrate supply has been tight.

But as copper cost increases, demand from end-users fades and will in turn pressurise prices, the trader said, adding that prices will likely tread water within a week.

Yangshan copper premium SMM-CUYP-CN hovered around its lowest since February 2016 of $38.50 a tonne, as Chinese demand for imported metal weakened amid elevated commodities prices.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Chinese smelter Tongling Nonferrous Metals Group’s output this year will be down by 40,000 tonnes due to maintenance at its Jinlong plant, a company source said.

* A pandemic-driven boom in home appliance sales will last longer than previously anticipated and extend into the second half of the year, Samsung Electronics Co Ltd’s head of the business said.

* LME aluminium rose 0.5% to $2,534 a tonne, while ShFE nickel climbed 1.4% to 132,890 yuan a tonne and ShFE tin advanced 1.5% to 196,710 yuan a tonne.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or

$1 = 6.4416 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen, additional reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Vinay Dwivedi

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