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LONDON: Copper prices gave up some gains on Tuesday in choppy trade as lower physical demand in top consumer China offset upbeat manufacturing activity in major economies and supply concerns.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange eased 0.2% to $10,252 per tonne by 1616 GMT, after trading higher earlier in the session.

“There is a tug of war between bears and bulls in the copper market,” said Gianclaudio Torlizzi, partner at consultancy T-Commodity. The record low Yangshan copper premium pointed to weak Chinese demand which put pressure on the market but supply issues in Peru and Chile were supporting the market, he said.

Premiums sank to a record low of $30.5 a tonne, indicating weakening demand for imported metal into China. Record copper prices are deterring buyers, analysts said. LME aluminium fell 0.4% to $2,473 a tonne, zinc was steady at $3,065, lead rose 0.9% to $2,213.50, tin was down 0.1% to $30,700 while nickel was flat at $18,110.

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