Copper rises to more than 5-mth high on hopes of strong Chinese demand


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SINGAPORE — London copper prices rose for a fourth consecutive session on Friday to hit their highest in more than five months, as an easing of COVID-19 curbs in China boosted demand expectations in the world’s top consumer of the metal.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.8% to $8,608 a tonne, as of 0728 GMT. The market, which hit its highest since June 23 at $8,618 earlier in the session, is up for a second week in a row.

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The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange added 1.7% to 67,120 yuan ($9,645.76) a tonne.

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“The relaxation of COVID-19 rules has raised hopes of improving consumer demand,” ANZ said in a report.

“However, it’s been the package of support for the property sector which has really boosted sentiment.”

Used in power and construction, copper is up more than 4% this month after rising 10.6% in November as expectations began to build that China will retreat from its zero-COVID policies.

China on Wednesday announced the most sweeping changes to its resolute anti-COVID regime since the pandemic began three years ago, loosening rules that curbed the spread of the virus but sparked protests and hobbled the world’s second-largest economy.

Goldman Sachs raised its 2023 forecast for average copper prices to $9,750 per tonne from $8,325 previously. It said that copper surplus is no longer likely to happen in 2023, with global visible stocks falling to their lowest in 14 years.

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China’s Bank of Communications said it had signed pacts to support eight property firms, easing a liquidity crunch in the sector, which is a major user of metals.

On Friday, non-ferrous metals prices rose along with other commodities on a weaker dollar. A weak dollar makes greenback-priced metals cheaper for holders of other currencies.

LME aluminum rose 0.5% to $2,516.50 a tonne, zinc increased 0.4% to $3,249.50 a tonne, tin was up 0.75% at $24,810 a tonne, while lead gained 0.5% to $2,222 a tonne.

SHFE aluminum rose 0.4% at 19,260 yuan a tonne and nickel jumped 3.2% to 221,520 yuan a tonne. Zinc edged up 0.7% to 24,965 yuan a tonne, while lead added 0.5% to 15,810 yuan a tonne and tin rose 1.4% to 198,650 yuan a tonne.

However, stocks for most non-ferrous metals rose in Shanghai warehouse over the past week, the exchange said on Friday.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or ($1 = 6.9585 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Naveen Thukral and Florence Tan; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)


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