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LONDON: Copper prices fell with global stock markets on Friday after a confrontation between Chinese and US diplomats set a negative tone for relations between the two countries during Joe Biden’s presidency.

Markets are also unsettled after a rapid rise in US bond yields turned investors cautious, taking some heat from rallies in equities, oil and industrial metals.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME), which reached a decade high of $9,617 a tonne last month, was at $9,017.50 in official trading, down 0.4% for the day and around 0.7% for the week.

Rising demand and tight supply mean the rally will likely resume, but not immediately, said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen.

Copper inventories in the LME system rose by 12,300 tonnes to 104,950 tonnes and Shanghai Futures Exchange stocks by 15,578 tonnes to 187,372 tonnes in the week to Friday.

Chinese Yangshan copper import premiums fell to $67 from $77 in late February, signalling weaker demand for overseas metal.

LME aluminium was up 0.3% at $2,223 a tonne, up 2.3% on the week, after reaching a 2-1/2-year high of $2,249.50 on Wednesday.

Aluminium is being rattled by signs of a “green” disruption in China, writes Andy Home.

Inventories in LME warehouses have leaped to almost 2 million tonnes from 1.3 million tonnes on March 8, pushing cash aluminium to a steep discount against the three-month contract.

LME zinc was up 0.2% at $2,798 a tonne, nickel gained 0.8% to $16,171, lead rose 0.9% to $1,941 and tin was 1.9% lower at $25,350.

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