LONDON- Copper prices fell on Wednesday as fears of rapid interest rate rises, slowing economic growth and more sanctions on Russia dented risk appetite and sent the dollar to its strongest level in almost two years.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 0.8% at $10,368 a tonne in official trading.

Hawkish comments from the U.S. Federal Reserve had "taken the steam out of the rally," said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen. "The market is worried about an economic slowdown," he said.

But copper, which is used in power and construction, remained near a record high of $10,845 reached last month and Hansen predicted further price rises because supply is tight and more metal will be needed for the world to decarbonise.

MARKETS: Global share prices eased, U.S. Treasury yields hit multi-year highs and the dollar strengthened as investors bet on aggressive tightening by U.S Fed next month.

A stronger U.S. currency makes dollar-priced metals more expensive for overseas buyers.

SANCTIONS: Expectations of new sanctions on Russian energy exports pushed oil prices higher.

CHINA: China, the biggest metals consumer, is facing its most severe COVID-19 wave since the Wuhan outbreak and Chinese manufacturing and services activity shrank in March.

"The (Chinese) market is entering what has traditionally been a peak season for demand," said Paul Adkins at AZ Global Consulting. "That peak season is under some threat."

GERMANY: German industrial orders fell more than expected in February, data showed.

"Though we expect metals prices and demand to remain robust in the developed markets in the near term, we believe that recession risks in 2023 are rising," Citi analysts said.

ZINC: On-warrant inventories of zinc in LME-registered warehouses tumbled to 45,850 tonnes from more than 100,000 tonnes a week ago, highlighting fears of tight supply.

LME zinc was down 0.6% at $4,272 a tonne but up around 20% this year having reached a record high in March.

OTHER METALS: LME aluminium was flat at $3,466 a tonne, nickel rose 0.5% to $33,470, lead fell 1.2% to $2,398 and tin was up 0.5% at $44,400.

(Reporting by Peter Hobson; additional reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; editing by Amy Caren Daniel and Jason Neely)