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Copper Falls as Market Frets about Demand, China Curbs

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LONDON, June 14 Reuters Copper slipped on Monday, as fears that top consumer China would take action to curb any further rises in prices of industrial metals reinforced the notion of fundamentals overtaking prices.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.4 at 9,960 a tonne at 0929 GMT.

Prices of the metal, often used as a gauge of manufacturing activity, are down nearly 8 since hitting a record high of 10,747.50 a tonne in May. Over the last week they have mostly traded between 9,800 and 10,000 a tonne.

The grand opening of economies because of vaccinations and the reflation story was priced in very quickly. The market is now taking a more sober view of fundamentals, said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke.

At the same time we have Chinese authorities saying they will crack down on speculation in commodity markets.

CHINA Clues to Chinese demand for base metals will come this week with industrial production data for May. The consensus is for an activity slowdown.

RESERVES China plans to release state reserves of nonferrous metals copper, aluminium and zinc in a programme set to last until the end of 2021, data provider Shanghai Metal Exchange Market and Chinese analysts said.

Sales of aluminium and zinc are dramatically more likely than copper since China is short copper and the refined copper market is not tight at present, Citi analysts said.

Chinas state planner last week renewed its pledge to step up monitoring of commodity prices, as…

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