SHANGHAI, April 10 (Reuters) - Copper retreated on Tuesday as investors digested data showing a rise in China's inflation rate, while anticipating more figures indicating a slowdown in the country's import and export numbers due later in the day.
The spate of gloomy Chinese data has been in line with analysts' view that the world's second-largest economy is cooling, not crashing, which accounts for the modest losses in base metals.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.4 percent to $8,325 tonne by 0121 GMT, after rising 0.1 percent at its previous session last Thursday ahead of the Easter break.
The most-active February copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange inched down 0.02 percent to 59,830 yuan ($9,500) per tonne, after falling 0.1 percent on Monday.
China's imports of most commodities, including crude oil and copper, are set to slow in March from February, reflecting weaker economic activity as distortions caused by the Lunar New Year holiday dissipate, traders and analysts said on Monday.
China's annual inflation rate jumped more than expected in March to 3.6 percent as food prices remained volatile, but economists believe price pressures will moderate over the rest of the year, giving Beijing the flexibility to ease monetary policy to support growth.
Most major Wall Street firms expect anemic growth in the U.S. jobs market and a struggling economic recovery to force the Federal Reserve to undertake another massive round of monetary stimulus, a Reuters poll found on Monday.
Global stocks and crude oil fell on Monday after data released last week showed a sharp slowdown in U.S. jobs growth, raising concerns about the strength of the world's largest economy.
The euro was largely steady against the dollar on Tuesday as the market awaits China's trade data and an announcement by the Bank of Japan following a two-day monetary policy meeting.
2030 China Exports yy Mar
:: China Imports yy Mar
:: China Trade balance Mar
0245 France Industrial output mm Mar
1950 Japan Bank lending yy
Base metals prices at 0121 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg
LME Cu 8325.00 -36.00 -0.43 9.54
SHFE CU FUT JUL2 59830 -10 -0.02 7.55
LME Alum 2119.75 10.75 +0.51 4.94
SHFE AL FUT JUL2 16255 10 +0.06 2.62
HG COPPER MAY2 377.15 5.15 +1.38 9.76
LME Zinc 2018.50 15.50 +0.77 9.40
SHFE ZN FUT JUL2 15685 50 +0.32 6.02
LME Nickel 18201.00 -204.00 -1.11 -2.72
LME Lead 2056.00 -3.50 -0.17 1.03
SHFE PB FUT 15650 70 +0.45 2.35
LME Tin 23100.00 -75.00 -0.32 20.31
LME/Shanghai arb 1721
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
^ LME 3-m copper in yuan, including 17 pct VAT, minus SHFE
($1 = 6.3085 Chinese yuan)