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Industrial metals rally takes a breather on China worries

Kitco News

(Rewrites with updated prices, inflation data)

LONDON, Sept 14 (Reuters) - Most industrial metals fell on Tuesday as concerns over the property market in top consumer China and falls in aluminium and nickel prices from multi-year highs triggered profit taking.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 1.2% at $9,443.50 a tonne at 1422 GMT after having fallen 1.3% on Monday.

"We are having a pause in the rally, led by some of the recent high fliers, aluminium and nickel," said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen.

But he predicted that solid demand and tight supplies would push prices higher.

"The overall sentiment towards metals is still very favourable," he said.

CHINA HOUSING: Cash-strapped property group China Evergrande warned of default risks amid plunging property sales, raising the chance of contagion for other privately owned developers. CHINA COVID: New local COVID-19 infections more than doubled to 59 in China's southeastern province of Fujian, health authorities said. MARKETS: Chinese shares fell sharply on Tuesday. European and U.S. stocks also slipped. U.S. government bond yields edged lower and the dollar weakened. INFLATION: Underlying U.S. consumer prices increased at their slowest pace in six months in August, suggesting that inflation has probably peaked. ALUMINIUM: Benchmark aluminium was down 1.8% at $2,844.50 a tonne. Prices leaped to $3,000 for the first time since 2008 on Monday before tumbling back to end down 0.9%.

Accelerating production cuts in top producer China will create large shortages of aluminium this year, analysts say. NICKEL: LME nickel was down 0.5% at $19,620 a tonne after falling 3.3% on Monday, its biggest one-day fall since June. On Friday, nickel touched $20,705, its highest since 2014. While cash copper and aluminium have flipped to a discount against the three-month contracts, cash nickel still trades at a premium, pointing to tight supply. OTHER METALS: LME zinc was down 1.6% at $3,035.50 a tonne and lead fell 1.1% to $2,266.50.

Tin bucked the trend and was up 0.7% at $33,740.

(Reporting by Peter Hobson; editing by Jason Neely Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Emelia Sithole-Matarise and Mark Porter)

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