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METALS-China data, supply concerns push copper prices to near two-week high

March 15 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose on Monday to the highest levels in almost two weeks, building on last week’s gains as top metals consumer China released upbeat economic activity data and as concerns over global supply resurfaced.

China’s industrial output grew 35.1% in January-February from a year ago, beating a 30% surge expected in a Reuters poll and faster than the 7.3% gain in December.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 1.1% at $9,185.50 a tonne, as of 0218 GMT, after earlier rising to $9,199.50, the strongest since March 3.

The most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange climbed 1.5% to 68,070 yuan ($10,472.79) a tonne, after earlier hitting 68,230 yuan, also the highest since March 3.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Commodities trader Trafigura sees a significant supply deficit in the copper market and a prolonged high-price cycle.

* Miners Vale SA, Anglo American PLc and Chile’s Codelco expect demand for copper to strengthen in coming years on growing demand for environmentally friendly cars.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Global stock prices were off to a solid start while U.S. bond yields hovered near a 13-month peak on Monday as investors bet U.S. economic growth will accelerate after the passing of a massive stimulus package.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0200 China Urban Investment (YTD) YY Feb

0200 China Industrial Output YY Feb

0200 China Retail Sales YY Feb

1100 EU Reserve Assets Total Feb

1400 Euro zone finance ministers meet

PRICES

Three month LME copper

Most active ShFE copper

Three month LME aluminium

Most active ShFE aluminium

Three month LME zinc

Most active ShFE zinc

Three month LME lead

Most active ShFE lead

Three month LME nickel

Most active ShFE nickel

Three month LME tin

Most active ShFE tin

Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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