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SHANGHAI: Copper prices in China rose to their highest in over a month on Friday, bolstered by hopes for more stimulus measures by top metals consumer China and worries over tight supply amid the Ukraine crisis.

The most-active May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended daytime trading 1.4% higher at 74,970 yuan ($11,768.68) a tonne, as of 0532 GMT, after rising to its highest since March 8 at 75,100 yuan ($11,789.08) earlier in the session.

The contract is up 1.4% this week, its second consecutive weekly gain. The London Metal Exchange was closed for a holiday.

“The prospect of easing cycle in China is supporting the bounce in commodity prices,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.

“Also Ukraine situation is escalating, which could trim some commodities either via logistics or sanctions, keeping the market tight.” The Chilean Copper Commission on Thursday raised its projection for 2022 copper prices to $4.40 per pound, amid a perceived scarcity due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

China’s central bank kept borrowing costs of its medium-term policy loan unchanged, despite Beijing calling for more monetary stimulus to cushion an economic slowdown caused by new COVID-19 outbreak.

China will step up financial support for the real economy, especially industries and small firms hit by the pandemic, and will lower financing costs, the cabinet, or State Council, said in a statement this week.

INVENTORIES: Copper stocks in LME-approved warehouses are down 17% this year. The latest LME data showed that they rose 3,675 tonnes to 110,675 tonnes.

STOCKS: Aluminium stocks in LME-approved warehouses are at 608,000 tonnes as of April 13, their lowest level since 2005.

ZINC: ShFE zinc steadied at 28,320 yuan ($4,445.63) a tonne and is set for a fourth consecutive week of gains, up 4.4%.

OTHER METALS: ShFE aluminium climbed 2.3%, nickel rose 3.2%, lead gained 0.4% and tin shed 0.2%.

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