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Copper climbs on China's pledge on economy, tight supply

written by Bella Palmer

Three-month copper on the LME was up 1% at $8,348 a tonne, while the most-traded January copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was flat at 65,440 yuan ($9,372.27) a tonne

London copper prices climbed on Monday, supported by top metals consumer China's pledge to stabilise its COVID-ravaged economy and as tight global stockpiles fuelled supply concerns.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 1% at $8,348 a tonne, as of 0415 GMT, while the most-traded January copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was flat at 65,440 yuan ($9,372.27) a tonne.

China will focus on stabilising its $17-trillion economy in 2023 and step up policy adjustments to ensure key targets are hit, said a statement last Friday following an agenda-setting meeting attended by President Xi Jinping and his senior officials.

More policy easing should stabilize the property sector, said Wang Tao, Head of Asia Economics and Chief China Economist of UBS Investment Bank Research.

We expect more support to come, including further lowering of mortgage rates and down-payment requirements, relaxation of home purchase restrictions, and more credit support for stalled projects, Wang said.

Supply concerns also lent some support, traders said.

Canada-based miner First Quantum Minerals said on Friday it is going through ‘all available legal means’ after the Panamanian government ordered it to pause operations at its flagship copper mine over a payments dispute.

Copper inventories in warehouses monitored by SHFE fell 18.5% week-on-week to 64,041 tonnes last Friday.

Copper stocks on the LME warehouses ticked 375 tonnes higher to 84,100 tonnes last Friday, but were more than halved from 180,925 tonnes seen in May.

Still, weighing on the sentiment was a hawkish U.S. Federal Reserve that led to fears that longer interest rate hikes would exacerbate demand for metals.

Among other metals, LME aluminium climbed 0.5% at $2,387 a tonne, zinc added 1.3% to $3,057, lead edged 0.1% up to $2,154, while tin was down 0.3% at $23,470.


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