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Markets

Copper edges towards $10,000 ahead of holiday in China

  • Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.1% at $9,895 a tonne.
  • Copper prices dipped initially on Friday, but then joined gains in other risky assets such as world stocks, which held near record highs, lifted by strong US data and the Federal Reserve's vow to support the economy.
30 Apr, 2021

LONDON: Copper crept higher on Friday, hovering just below the $10,000 level it briefly broke through a day earlier as some speculators locked in profits while others added to bullish positions.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.1% at $9,895 a tonne by 1040 GMT, extending five sessions of gains. It rose to as high as $10,008 on Thursday, close to an all-time record of $10,190 hit in February 2011.

LME copper, which has gained 27% so far in 2021, was on track for its 12th monthly gain in the last 13 months, boosted by optimism around prospects for a quick global economic recovery as well as tightening supply.

Copper prices dipped initially on Friday, but then joined gains in other risky assets such as world stocks, which held near record highs, lifted by strong US data and the Federal Reserve's vow to support the economy.

"There's been a bit of profit taking in copper, we're going into the holiday season in China," said Robert Montefusco at broker Sucden Financial.

Chinese bourses will be shut from May 3-5 for the Labour Day break while the LME will be closed on May 3 for a bank holiday.

"But people still seem to be quite bullish. There's a lot of bullish talk from the banks and trade houses about the green energy targets," Montefusco said.

Citibank said this week there's a good chance that copper could hit $12,000 a tonne over the next three to six months.

Factory activity in top metals consumer China expanded at a slower-than-expected pace in April.

The need for large amounts of scrap to meet shortages in the copper market will buttress prices near $10,000 a tonne, analysts said.

Global supply of refined zinc is expected to exceed demand by 353,000 tonnes in 2021, while the global lead market will see a surplus of 96,000 tonnes, an industry group forecast.

LME aluminium rose 0.8% to $2,436 a tonne, lead climbed 1.2% to $2,142, nickel advanced 2% to $17,605, tin added 1.8% to hit $28,995, while zinc slipped 0.1% to $2,916.50.

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