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SHANGHAI: Copper prices in China hit a one-month high on Tuesday, helped by easing worries over the impact of the Omicron variant and hopes of continued policy support for economic growth in the world’s top metals consumer.

The most-traded February copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended daytime trading 1% higher at 70,450 yuan ($11,059.83) a tonne. It had touched 70,870 yuan earlier in the day, the highest since Nov. 26.

“Risk sentiment improved as early data showed that the new coronavirus variant may cause milder symptoms,” analysts at Huatai Futures said in a note.

Stock and oil prices also advanced as some European countries refrained from imposing tough mobility restrictions, with the British government in particular awaiting more evidence on whether its health service can cope with high infection rates.

The London Metal Exchange remained shut for a public holiday on Tuesday.

FUNDAMENTALS

Zijin Mining has started production at its Qulong copper mine in Tibet, one of the largest in China, adding a new source of supply to the market for next year.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Monday inaugurated a new ferronickel plant with 1.8 million tonne output capacity in southeast Sulawesi province.

China will keep its monetary policy flexible next year as it seeks to stabilise growth and lower financing costs for businesses amid growing economic headwinds, the central bank said on Monday.

The Philippines has lifted a four-year-old ban on open-pit mining for copper, gold, silver and complex ores, the head of the mines bureau said.

Nickel was up 0.8% at 149,200 yuan a tonne, lead rose 0.1% to 15,400 yuan a tonne, and tin gained 0.4% to 290,200 yuan a tonne.

However, profit-taking from recent gainers continued. Aluminium slipped 0.3% to 19,860 yuan a tonne, while zinc shed 0.8% to 24,100 yuan a tonne.

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