Base metals on the London Metal Exchange (LME) have closed lower amid concerns that demand from China, the world's largest consumer, may wane.
At the close of open-outcry trading in the London ring on Tuesday, LME three-month copper was 1.9 per cent lower on the previous session's settlement price at $US6,540 per metric tonne.
Aluminium fell 1.5 per cent to $US1,852 per tonne, while nickel, which had been leading metals higher recently in an impressive rally fuelled by supply concerns, closed 0.8 per cent lower at $US17,650 per tonne.
"Copper has slumped ... and Nickel has dropped the most in nine months as worries about a Chinese slowdown outweighed supply concerns," said Ole Hansen, head of Commodity Strategy at Saxo Bank.
Data on Tuesday showed that China's money supply grew 12.1 per cent in March from a year earlier, missing the People's Bank of China's target of 13 per cent growth for the first time since April 2012.
This fuelled concerns over the potential for less liquidity for buyers in China to spend on the red metal. The nation accounts for around 40 per cent of the global consumption of copper.
On Wednesday, China will release more economic figures, including gross domestic product data. Investors will likely scrutinise the figures for further clues about the future of copper demand in the nation.
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