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METALS-Copper set for smallest quarterly gain since March 2020

HANOI, June 30 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose on Wednesday, but were set for their smallest quarterly gain since March 2020 on pressure from a firm dollar and top consumer China’s efforts to tame a red-hot metals rally.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.4% to $9,375 a tonne by 0342 GMT and was up 6.7% for the quarter. It has lost 8.6% so far in June, on track for its first monthly fall in three.

The most-traded August copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.2% to 68,420 yuan a tonne, also set for the weakest quarterly gain since March 2020 when China’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic aided metals prices.

Copper prices have pulled back in recent weeks after hitting a record high in May on the back of a global economic recovery, rising investments into renewable energy and electric vehicles, as well as a tight supply outlook.

Some of the pressure has come from China, with the world’s second-largest economy releasing state reserves of copper, aluminium and zinc as part of its pledge to control a recent surge in commodities prices.

Strength in the dollar on expectations of sooner-than-anticipated policy tightening in the United States has also made greenback-priced metals more expensive and less appealing to holders of other currencies.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Global demand of nickel used in batteries is expected to rise 18% this year from 2020, backed by strong sales of electric-vehicles in China, Sumitomo Metal Mining, Japan’s biggest nickel smelter, said.

* LME nickel fell 0.4% to $18,280 a tonne, while lead rose 0.4% to $2,314 a tonne. ShFE lead jumped 3.2% to 15,875 yuan a tonne while ShFe aluminium declined 0.5% to 18,770 yuan a tonne.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares rose and a gauge of global equities hovered near record highs after rising consumer confidence in economic recovery boosted the Nasdaq index to a record close.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0600 UK GDP QQ, YY Q1

0645 France CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY June

0755 Germany Unemployment Chg, Rate SA June

0900 EU HICP Flash YY June

0900 EU HICP-X F&E Flash YY June

Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Aditya Soni

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