By Mai Nguyen
SINGAPORE, June 2 (Reuters) - Shanghai copper prices rose to their highest in nearly three months on Tuesday, as demand in top metals consumer China continued to recover, though gains were capped by investor worries over a deepening U.S.-China rift.
The most-traded July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) closed up 0.7% at 44,560 yuan ($6,260.98) a tonne. Earlier in the session, the contract hit its highest since March 6 of 44,800 yuan.
“This is real demand. Domestic investment is booming，especially in infrastructure. Supply and transport slowdowns from South America are also supporting prices,” said a copper trader in China.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) that eased 0.2% to $5,473.50 a tonne as of 0749 GMT has gained nearly 26% since the 2020 bottom, hit on March 19.
Another metals trader, however, said all base metals are overpriced in the short term, amid worries over Sino-U.S. relations and widespread violent protests in the United States.
* CHINA COPPER: China refined copper prices SMM-CU-REF on Monday hit their highest since March 6 at 44,715 yuan a tonne, showing solid demand in top consumer China.
* COPPER INVENTORIES: Copper stockpiles in ShFE warehouses CU-STX-SGH dropped at the fastest pace last week since September 2017, but inventories in bonded warehouses SMM-CUR-BON rose for the first time since March 20.
* RUSAL: Aluminium producer Rusal saw customers returning with 20%-30% of usual demand after a slump in April.
* ALUMINIUM PREMIUM: A global aluminium producer has offered Japanese buyers a premium of $85 per tonne for July-September primary metal shipments, up 3.7% from the current quarter, sources said.
* CHINA EV: Beijing city considers adding 20,000 licences to new energy vehicle buyers in July-December 2020.
* OTHER PRICES: Shanghai lead rose 0.6% to 14,495 yuan, while LME lead fell 0.4% to $1,673.50 a tonne.
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$1 = 7.1171 yuan Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Vinay Dwivedi