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METALS-Copper prices at 7-week low on Chinese crackdown fears

HANOI, June 15 (Reuters) - Copper prices dropped on Tuesday to their lowest since April 26, weighed down by investor fears over measures Chinese authorities could take to curb a recent price rally in commodities.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 2.9% to $9,680 a tonne, while the most-traded July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange hit its lowest since April 23 at 69,500 yuan ($10,852.08) a tonne.

China’s state planner last week renewed its pledge to step up monitoring of commodity prices, as domestic producer inflation hit its highest in more than 12 years.

Market talks expected China to release state reserves of copper, aluminium and zinc while also possibly trim long positions and crackdown price speculative activities.

FUNDAMENTALS

* A union representing striking workers from Vale SA’s Sudbury, Canada, nickel mine recommended that its members reject the Brazilian company’s latest offer.

* LME aluminium fell 1.3% to $2,460.50 a tonne at 0340 GMT, nickel declined 2.8% to $17,970 a tonne and tin shed 2.2% at $30,950 a tonne.

* ShFE aluminium declined 0.2% to 18,790 yuan a tonne, nickel lost 1.5% to 131,570 yuan a tonne and tin dropped 2.2% to 205,300 yuan a tonne.

MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares rose early, tracking Wall Street higher, though investors looked to a much-anticipated Federal Reserve policy meeting to see if the central bank would signal any change to the U.S. monetary policy outlook.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0600 Germany HICP Final YY May

0600 UK Claimant Count Unem Chng May

0600 UK ILO Unemployment Rate April

0645 France CPI (EU Norm) Final MM, YY May

1000 EU Reserve Assets Total May

1230 US Retail Sales MM May

1315 US Industrial Production MM May

-- US Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market

Committee meets on interest rates

$1 = 6.4043 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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