Base metals fall amid China COVID protests
BEIJING — Prices of base metals fell on Monday as protests in several Chinese cities against the country’s strict COVID-19 curbs sparked uncertainty and dampened investor sentiment.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 1.9% at $7,854 a tonne, as of 0207 GMT, while the most-traded December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange shed 1.3% to 64,150 yuan ($8,875.82) a tonne.
Hundreds of demonstrators and police clashed in Shanghai on Sunday night as protests over China’s stringent COVID curbs flared for a third day and spread to several cities in the wake of a deadly fire in the country’s far west.
The protests raised worries about management of the virus in the world’s second-largest economy and sent Asian stocks lower in early trade on Monday. The protests also led investors towards the safe-haven U.S. dollar.
A stronger greenback makes it more expensive for non-dollar holders to buy dollar-priced commodities.
China’s industrial firms saw overall profits decline further in the January-October period as COVID-19 outbreaks flared up and cities imposed new virus curbs, including targeted lockdowns, dampening economic activity.
Industrial profits fell 3.0% in the first 10 months of 2022 from a year earlier. That compared with a 2.3% drop for January-September, National Bureau of Statistics data released on Sunday showed.
Among other metals, LME aluminum slid 0.9% to $2,342 a tonne, zinc dropped 1% to $2,890 a tonne and lead slipped 0.7% to $2,102 a tonne.
SHFE aluminum dropped 1.4% to 18,630 yuan a tonne, zinc slipped 0.5% to 23,480 yuan a tonne, tin shed 1.8% to 181,050 yuan a tonne, and nickel was down 2.9% at 193,100 yuan a tonne.
For the top stories in metals and other news, click or ($1 = 7.2275 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Beijing Newsroom; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)
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