Copper prices slipped on Tuesday as a firmer dollar spurred a bout of selling, with stalled demand growth in top consumer China and soaring inventories reinforcing negative sentiment.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) traded 0.2% down at $9,642 a metric ton in official rings. It has dropped 13% since speculative buying took prices to record highs above $11,100 on May 20.

Traders said a firmer dollar had triggered fund selling. A stronger U.S. currency makes metals more expensive for holders of other currencies.

With the spotlight back on subdued activity in China's manufacturing sector and fragile demand for copper and other industrial metals, prices are expected to trade in a range of $9,500-$9,900 until release of fresh economic data from China.

"The China story is bearish, Chinese stimulus isn't working, isn't enough and the property market shows few signs of recovery," one metals trader said. "Inventories are also weighing on sentiment."

Copper stocks in LME-approved warehouses have jumped 67% to a six-month high of 172,850 tons since May 16, with much of that metal coming from China.

Signs of surpluses have propelled the discount for cash copper over the three-month contract to record highs approaching $150 a ton.

Meanwhile, in Shanghai's bonded warehouses , copper inventories are hovering near last month's one-year high of 92,800 tons.

Weakness is also reflected in the Yangshan copper premium , which reflects China's demand for copper imports. The figure has been at or below zero since May.

However, forecasts for future shortages are expected to boost copper prices, possibly to record peaks.

"Long-term fundamentals support robust future demand for copper from electric vehicles, grid infrastructure and AI data centres, while production may struggle to meet demand," Saxo analyst said in a note.

In other metals, aluminium ceded 0.2% to 2,498 a ton, zinc gained 0.8% to $2,868.5, lead slipped 1% to $2,162, tin was up 0.3% at $32,800 and nickel retreated by 1.1% to $17,125.

(Reporting by Pratima Desai Editing by David Goodman)