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Markets

LME copper eases, but hovers near multi-year high on demand recovery hopes

  • The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.7% to 58,110 yuan ($8,892.26) a tonne.
24 Dec 2020

SINGAPORE: London copper prices edged lower on Thursday, giving up some of the previous session's gains, although the market remained close to its highest since 2013 on expectations of economic recovery and Chinese demand.

FUNDAMENTALS

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.3% to $7,818.50 a tonne by 0201 GMT, after gaining 1.3% in the last session. The market climbed to its highest since early 2013 at $8,028 a tonne on Friday.

The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.7% to 58,110 yuan ($8,892.26) a tonne.

The Chinese central bank will scale back support for the economy in 2021 and cool credit growth, but fears of derailing a recovery will keep it cautious, policy sources said.

Many analysts and investors expect the US currency to weaken further in 2021, helping dollar-priced metals by making them cheaper for non-US buyers.

The dollar was on the back foot in holiday-thinned trading as hopes for an agreement that would protect some $1 trillion in annual cross-channel trade from tariffs and quotas sapped demand for the safest assets.

A threat by US President Donald Trump not to sign an $892 billion coronavirus relief bill failed to wipe out positive market sentiment.

Codelco, the world's top copper producer, said it had reached a labour agreement ahead of schedule with the supervisors' union at its Chuquicamata mine.

China's aluminium imports hit a record annual high with a month to spare, customs data showed on Wednesday, after November inflows took this year's arbitrage-fuelled shipments above a previous peak in 2009.

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