BEIJING, Feb 26 (Reuters) - Prices of copper opened the week lower on Monday, under pressure from a firmer U.S. dollar ahead of key economic data, while higher inventories in top consumer China also weighed.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange shed 0.4% to $8,537 per metric ton by 0128 GMT, while the most-traded March copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slid 0.3% to 69,110 yuan ($9,605.01) per ton.

The dollar was on the front foot on Monday ahead of a week packed with key economic releases.

Investor focus shifted towards inflation data from the United States, Japan and Europe that will help refine expectations for future rate moves.

Deliverable copper stocks on SHFE after the Lunar New Year holiday scaled 181,323 tons, at a near one-year high. Meanwhile, post-holiday demand is yet to pick up.

China's new home prices extended declines in January, data showed on Friday, despite Beijing's support to restore confidence in the debt-ridden property sector.

Elsewhere, LME aluminium climbed 0.4% to $2,188 per ton, nickel lost 0.4% at $17,420, zinc gained 0.3% to $2,411.50, lead moved 0.3% lower at $2,088.50, and tin was down 0.1% at $26,355.

SHFE aluminium shed 0.2% to 18,780 yuan a ton, nickel was up 0.2% at 134,560 yuan, zinc gained 0.3% to 20,480 yuan, while lead moved 0.2% lower to 15,900 yuan, and tin added 0.4% to 216,590 yuan.

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($1 = 7.1952 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Siyi Liu; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)