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LONDON: Copper prices rebounded on Wednesday, boosted by the lifting of COVID-19 lockdowns in Shanghai and gains in oil markets.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) gained 0.5% to $9,496 a tonne by 1600 GMT after falling as low as $9,384 earlier and dropping 1% in the previous session.

US Comex futures rose 0.6% to $4.32 a lb.

Copper, often used as a gauge of global economic health, has fallen by 12% since scaling a record peak of $10,845 in March.

China’s financial hub Shanghai on Wednesday emerged from two months of isolation under strict COVID-19 lockdown.

“There are various ways that China can boost its economy, and infrastructure projects are the most relevant for metals, but it takes time. It may not have an impact in the short term. It could span across the second half,” said Xiao Fu, head of commodity market strategy at Bank of China International.

A trader said metals also benefited from a jump in oil prices, the agreement by European Union leaders to a partial ban on Russian oil and position squaring before holidays in Britain. Energy costs are a major component in producing metals.

Global copper smelting activity ticked higher in May as a rebound in China offset declines in Europe and elsewhere, data from satellite surveillance of metal processing plants showed.

Weighing on metals was a firm dollar index, lifted by upbeat manufacturing data. A stronger dollar makes greenback-denominated metals more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

Global aluminium producers have offered Japanese buyers premiums of $172 to $177 a tonne for July-September primary metal shipments, which would be between unchanged and 2.9% higher than the current quarter, sources said.

Two fires broke out at key copper projects in Peru, sources told Reuters, hitting MMG Ltd’s Las Bambas copper mine and Southern Copper Corp’s planned Los Chancas project, amid escalating local protests.

LME aluminium eased 2.3% to $2,722.50 a tonne, zinc fell 1.1% to $3,872.50, nickel dropped 1% to $28,100 and lead declined 0.8% to $2,164, but tin gained 0.2% to $34,725.

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