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Copper prices kicked off the last quarter of 2023 with a fall on Monday, extending a declining trend in the last two quarters, as a firm dollar and higher inventories weighed on prices.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.1% to $8,261.50 per metric ton by 0508 GMT, nickel rose 0.1% to $18,715, lead advanced 0.3% to $2,177.50 and zinc fell 0.3% to $2,641, while both aluminium and tin were flat.

The dollar was firm as the prospect of higher-for-longer US interest rates provided solid support, making greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies.

The Chinese market is shut for public holidays until Oct. 8, so demand was tepid, while supply pressure is climbing.

China’s property market troubles keep copper near four-month low

Meanwhile, inventories of copper in LME-registered warehouses have surged 141% in the past three months to 167,825 tons, the highest since May last year.

Copper output in Chile, the world’s largest producer of the red metal, rose 2.7% year-on-year in August to 434,206 tons. Nickel inventories continue to climb in LME warehouses and were last at 42,228 tons, the highest since April 3.

Tin and lead stocks have also been rising in LME warehouses. For th

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