LONDON, June 25 (Reuters) – Zinc prices hit the lowest in over 10 months on Monday as a rise in inventories signalled supplies were healthy and speculators put pressure on the market. Daily data showed zinc on-warrant inventories – those not earmarked for delivery – in warehouses certified by the London Metal Exchange rose 2,300 tonnes to 241,525 tonnes. They have shot up 83 percent since the beginning of March. the steady rise in stocks has mirrored a breakdown in prices, which have shed a fifth since touching the strongest in over a decade of $3,595.50 a tonne on Feb. 15. “The charts on zinc don’t look good, the break below $2,970 was worrying,” said Gianclaudio Torlizzi, Partner at consultancy T-Commodity in Milan. Benchmark LME zinc was down 1.3 percent at $2,878 a tonne by 1030 GMT after touching $2,856.50, the lowest since Aug. 7 last year. “The metal sees growing speculative shorts on both the LME and ShFE (Shanghai Futures Exchange),” Alastair Munro at broker Marex Spectron said in a note. * CHINA BANKS: Metals rallied during Asian trading after the central bank in top metals consumer China said on Sunday it would cut the amount of cash that some banks must hold as reserves by 50 basis points to spur lending to smaller firms. * CHINA DEMAND: Chinese demand for industrial metals was holding up well and the Chinese central bank move demonstrated that the government was concerned about growth, Torlizzi said. “We think the current weakness in metals is a very nice opportunity to go long, especially in copper. We are not buying there is a big slowdown in the global economy,” he said. * COPPER: Three month LME copper was unchanged at $6,789 a tonne after hitting the lowest since late May at $6,756.50 a tonne. * STRIKES: Supporting copper was news on Friday that workers’ unions at Codelco’s small Salvador copper division in Chile had rejected an early wage deal from the company. * INVENTORIES: Reflecting a pick-up in demand, U.S. exchange copper stocks have dropped by 10 percent in the past six weeks, reversing an uptrend seen since December. LME stocks are down by more than a fifth from a peak in late March, with nearly 12,000 tonnes reserved on Friday to be taken from warehouses. * INVESTORS: Hedge funds and money managers trimmed their net-long positions in copper futures and options in the week to June 19, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission data showed on Friday. * ALUMINIUM – LME aluminium shed 0.6 percent to $2,162 after hitting $2,159, the weakest since April 10.