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METALS- London metals fall on stronger dollar, simmering trade concerns

MELBOURNE, March 19 (Reuters) - London metals slipped on Monday on simmering unease that tensions between the world's top two economies could dent metals demand, while markets eyed this week's Federal Reserve meeting that could fuel fresh upward momentum in the dollar.

FUNDAMENTALS

* COPPER: London Metal Exchange copper slipped 0.8 percent to $6,833 a tonne by 0203 GMT, extending losses from Friday when prices fell half a percent.

* Prices dropped to $6,811, which was the weakest since March 9 when copper troughed at $6,777, a break of which would open the way to mid-February lows. Support is seen at the 200 day moving average of $6,657.

* SHFE: Shanghai Futures Exchange copper fell 1.2 percent to 51,310 yuan ($8,100) a tonne, the steepest decline among Shanghai metals.

* SHFE ALUMINIUM: In China, metals inventories have built despite pollution controls that curbed factory output. Shanghai aluminum stocks surged by 87,303 tonnes to a record high of 934,216 tonnes, data on Friday showed. <AL-STX-SGH >

* STOCKS: Shanghai zinc stocks also jumped by around 50,000 tonnes over the past month <ZN-STX-SGH>, while Shanghai copper stocks have nearly doubled since the start of the year, approaching 300,000 tonnes. <CU-STX-SGH>

* RISK APPETITE: Worries about the potential for a U.S.-China trade war and frustration over U.S. President Donald Trump's steel and aluminum tariffs threatened to dominate a gathering of finance leaders amid strengthening growth.

* DOLLAR: The dollar started the week little changed on Monday as traders set sights on new Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell's first monetary policy meeting later in the week and as the increased threat of trade protectionism kept markets on edge.

* POLLUTION: China will set more stringent targets for improving the nation's air quality under a new three-year plan, as Beijing prepares to beef up a nationwide crackdown on polluters in its years-long campaign to clear its notoriously toxic skies.

* COPPER: Polish copper producer KGHM said it expects daily copper ore output at its Chilean mine Sierra Gorda to increase by 18 percent next year from current levels. nL8N1QY346

* INVESTORS: Hedge funds and money managers trimmed their net long positions in COMEX copper contracts in the week to March 13, regulatory data showed on Friday.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian share markets got off to a hesitant start on Monday for a week in which the Federal Reserve is likely to deliver a hike in U.S. interest rates and perhaps signal that as many as three more lie in store for the rest of the year. DATA AHEAD (GMT)

0130 China House prices Feb 1000 Euro zone Eurostat trade Jan

PRICES

BASE METALS PRICES 0202 GMT Three month LME copper 6835 Most active ShFE copper 51310 Three month LME aluminum 2076.5 Most active ShFE aluminum 13985 Three month LME zinc 3251 Most active ShFE zinc 24980 Three month LME lead 2385 Most active ShFE lead 18475 Three month LME nickel 13490 Most active ShFE nickel 102090 Three month LME tin 20950 Most active ShFE tin 144290

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE

LME/SHFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 958.93 LME/SHFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -1273.61 LME/SHFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 579.23 LME/SHFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 117.1 LME/SHFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 1105.35

($1 = 6.3347 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; editing by Richard Pullin)