SINGAPORE, March 31 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose on Tuesday, with Shanghai copper touching a near two-week high, as top consumer China surprisingly reported an expansion in factory activities this month. The Purchasing Managers' Index for China rose to 52 in March from the collapse to a record low of 35.7 in February, official data showed, much higher than a Reuters poll' forecast of 45.0. The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) rose as much as 2.2% to 39,600 yuan ($5,578.56) a tonne, its highest since March 18. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 1.5% to $4,838.50 a tonne, as of 0124 GMT, reversing a streak of three straight losses. However, the longer-term outlook for copper, often used as a gauge of the global economic health, is still seen under pressure due to prolonged worldwide shutdowns to contain the coronavirus pandemic. LME copper, despite the rally on Tuesday, was down 14.2% on a monthly basis, on track for its worst monthly decline since September 2011. FUNDAMENTALS * OTHER PRICES: LME aluminium advanced 0.3% to $1,535 a tonne, nickel rose 0.4% to $11,365 a tonne, zinc was flat at $1,872 a tonne and lead increased 0.6% to $1,714 a tonne. * SHANGHAI PRICES: ShFE aluminium rose 0.2% to 11,585 a tonne, nickel increased 0.7% to 93,210 yuan a tonne, zinc rose 0.5% to 15,175 a tonne and lead advanced 1.4% to 13,900 yuan a tonne. * CHINA SERVICES: China's services activity expanded in March after slumping to a record low the previous month, official data showed. * For the top stories in metals and other news, click or MARKETS NEWS * Asian share markets managed a tentative rally after European and U.S. equities stabilised, though buying for month and quarter-end book balancing likely flattered the gains. DATA/EVENTS AHEAD (GMT) 0600 UK GDP YY, QQ Q4 0645 France CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY March 0755 Germany Unemployment Rate, Chg March 0900 EU HICP Flash YY March 0900 EU HICP-X F&E Flash YY March 1400 US Consumer Confidence March PRICES Three month LME copper Most active ShFE copper Three month LME aluminium Most active ShFE aluminium Three month LME zinc Most active ShFE zinc Three month LME lead Most active ShFE lead Three month LME nickel Most active ShFE nickel Three month LME tin Most active ShFE tin ARBS ($1 = 7.0986 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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