Copper rises to more than 5-mth high on hopes of strong Chinese demand
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.
The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange added 1.7% to 67,120 yuan ($9,645.76) a tonne.
“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.
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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