Copper rises as COVID-19 cases drop in China, demand remains at risk

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Copper prices rose on Wednesday as a slowdown in COVID-19 infections in China, the world’s top metals consumer, eased concerns about short-term demand, although persistent restrictions limited the enthusiasm.

  • Shanghai said half the city had achieved “zero COVID” status, but unbending restrictions were to remain in place under a national policy.
  • Lockdowns in China and concerns about aggressive US interest rate hikes this year have weighed on base metals, with copper hitting its lowest level in nearly five months this week.
  • Beijing’s reluctance to inject economic stimulus to boost demand will continue to weigh on metals, said Caroline Bain, senior commodity economist at Capital Economics.
  • “The lockdowns in China have been the final nail in the coffin for demand. It has exposed how weak demand has been,” Bain said.
  • Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 1.2% to $9,337 a tonne by 1610 GMT.
  • China’s copper cathode output in April fell on both a monthly and yearly basis, state-backed research house Antaike said on Tuesday, as maintenance and COVID-19 outbreaks prevented smelters from opening. produce more metal.
  • China’s factory inflation fell to its lowest level in a year in April, giving authorities room to apply more stimulus to prop up a weakened economy.
  • The dollar, at its highest level in two decades, makes metals and other assets traded on the greenback more expensive for buyers with other currencies.
  • Among other industrial metals, aluminum on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 1.2% to $2,786 a tonne; zinc gained 2.2% to $3,676; lead added 0.8% to $2,130; tin advanced 1.2% to $35,955; while nickel fell 2% to $27,855.
  • To view up-to-date base metal prices:
  • COPPER
  • LEAD
  • TIN
  • NICKEL
  • ALUMINUM
  • ZINC
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