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METALS-London zinc skids to 4-mth low on slow pick-up in steel demand

MELBOURNE, April 12 (Reuters) - London zinc fell to a four-month low on Thursday, tracking the prices of other steel materials as demand from construction got off to a slow start in the usually strong second quarter.

FUNDAMENTALS

* London Metal Exchange zinc slid 2.7 percent to $3,150 a tonne by 0244 GMT, having earlier touched a low of $3,133.50, its weakest since Dec. 12. Prices crashed through support at the 200-day moving average of $3,172 a tonne, triggering a rush in sales from funds, a trader said.

* LME copper fell 0.8 percent to $6,893 a tonne reflecting a sour tone across metals amid broad risk-off sentiment in the markets. Shanghai Futures Exchange copper fell 1 percent to 50,610 yuan ($8,063.40) a tonne.

* STEEL DEMAND: Iron ore futures in China have been falling, with investors worried about slipping steel margins this year and leaner demand in the world's top consumer. A seasonal pickup in China's construction activity that usually comes in April and May has been off to a slow start, traders said.

* ZINC: Longer term, zinc prices are expected to remain buoyant after hitting their highest in a decade because of years of underinvestment, the founder and chairman of Vedanta Resources said on Wednesday.

* CHINA POLLUTION: The Chinese city of Xuzhou is carrying out environmental inspections targeting air pollution emissions at industrial plants, construction sites and in the transport sector that are expected to last for as long as six months.

* RUSAL: International financial groups took action on Wednesday to distance themselves from the shares, bonds and metal of Russian aluminium giant Rusal after the United States imposed sanctions on the company. 3/8

* CME Group has also revoked approved status for registration of Russian firm Rusal's metal for delivery against its aluminium futures contracts, according to a notice on its website.

* GLENCORE: Trader Glencore, a Rusal shareholder and customer, will declare force majeure on some aluminium supply, a source familiar with the matter said.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian stocks came under pressure on Thursday as the threat of imminent U.S. military action in Syria rattled investors and sent oil prices to their highest levels since late 2014 on concerns about supply.

DATA/EVENTS 0900 Euro zone Industrial production Feb 1230 U.S. Export prices Mar 1230 U.S. Import prices Mar 1230 U.S. Weekly jobless claims PRICES

BASE METALS PRICES 0227 GMT Three month LME copper 6887.5 Most active ShFE copper 50550 Three month LME aluminium 2236.5 Most active ShFE aluminium 14265 Three month LME zinc 3153.5 Most active ShFE zinc 23630 Three month LME lead 2365 Most active ShFE lead 18550 Three month LME nickel 13695 Most active ShFE nickel 101340 Three month LME tin 20970 Most active ShFE tin 143020

BASE METALS ARBITRAGE

LME/ShFE COPPER LMESHFCUc3 321.08 LME/ShFE ALUMINIUM LMESHFALc3 -2026.45 LME/ShFE ZINC LMESHFZNc3 112.52 LME/ShFE LEAD LMESHFPBc3 282.01 LME/ShFE NICKEL LMESHFNIc3 -157.35

($1 = 6.2765 Chinese yuan)

(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Tom Hogue)