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METALS-London copper drops to nine-month low on recession fears

 (Adds detail, updates milestone, prices)
    By Brijesh Patel
    June 20 (Reuters) - London copper prices hit a nine-month
low on Monday, weighed down by fears that a potential global
recession and coronavirus outbreaks in top consumer China could
hammer demand for metals.
    Three-month copper         on the London Metal Exchange
(LME) was down 1% at $8,875 a tonne by 0726 GMT, its lowest
since Sept. 21.
    The most-traded July copper contract in Shanghai         
ended daytime trading down 2.3% at 68,000 yuan ($10,172.33) a
tonne.
    Economic slowdown fears weighed on base metals, ANZ
commodity strategists said in a note.
    "This comes amid uncertainty around the demand outlook in
China. Renewed outbreaks of COVID-19 have cast doubt on the
recovery from lockdowns that have slowed down industrial
activity. The market also appears to be ignoring supply side
issues."
    Mainland China reported 109 new coronavirus cases for June
19, of which 38 were symptomatic and 71 were asymptomatic, the
National Health Commission said on Monday.             
    China left its benchmark lending rates for corporate and
household loans on hold, with global central banks' rate
increases making it tough for Beijing to stimulate a weak
domestic economy by lowering rates.             
    Last week central banks including the U.S. Federal Reserve
raised interest rates to contain soaring inflation, reigniting
worries over potential global recession.             
    Copper, which is used in power and construction and is
widely viewed as a gauge of global economic health, has fallen
more than 18% since scaling a peak of $10,845 in March.

    COPPER: Workers at state-owned Chilean miner Codelco, the
world's largest copper producer, said on Saturday that they
would start preparations for a national strike after the company
announced the closure of its Ventanas smelter.             
    DATA: China's May aluminium imports fell 16.4% year on year,
government data showed on Saturday, amid high overseas prices
and weaker domestic consumption.             
    OTHER METALS: LME aluminium         fell 0.5% to $2,485 a
tonne, zinc         eased 0.4% to $3,510, lead         gained
0.4% to $2,070, nickel         was down 0.9% at $25,450, and tin
        slid 3.1% to $30,205.
    Shanghai aluminium          slipped 0.8%, with zinc         
falling 1.5%, nickel          down 1.7%, lead          off 0.2%
and tin          retreating by 4%.
    
($1 = 6.6848 Chinese yuan renminbi)

 (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru
Editing by David Goodman)
  
 
 
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