Copper prices fall due to the advance of the omicron variant and China’s economic slowdown

Copper prices fall due to the advance of the omicron variant and China's economic slowdown

LONDON, Dec 2 (Reuters) – Copper prices fell on Thursday as fears about the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus and slowing growth in China weakened the outlook for demand.

* At 1137 GMT, three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 0.3% at $ 9,412.50 a tonne, a 4% decline from last week. However, prices accumulate a 20% rise this year and remain close to the 10,747.50 reached in May.

* Global stock markets were down after the United States and France reported their first omicron cases and countries around the world tightened travel restrictions.

* Metals have held up much better than oil, which has fallen about 15% in the last week, said WisdomTree analyst Nitesh Shah.

* “That underscores the strength of copper demand and the likelihood that it will come out of this period with structural strength,” he said. “As long as the market thinks about medium-term growth, copper should hold up quite well.”

* Copper has been boosted by stimulus measures issued by governments and by expectations for the construction of infrastructure for power lines.

* China’s government advisers will recommend that the authorities set an economic growth target for 2022 of 5% to 5.5%, below the “more than 6%” set for 2021, according to sources.

* Chile’s state-owned Codelco, the world’s largest copper producer, expects the average price of the red metal to be in the range of $ 3.80-3.90 per pound next year, CEO Octavio Araneda said on Wednesday.

(Reporting by Peter Hobson, additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi. Edited in Spanish by Janisse Huambachano)

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