Shanghai copper prices rose on Thursday as the lifting of COVID-19 curbs in top metals consumer China buoyed hopes of demand recovery, although a stronger U.S. dollar limited the upside.
The most-traded July copper contract in Shanghai ended daytime trading up 0.7% at 72,130 yuan ($10,803.56) a tonne, as of 0718 GMT, in tepid trade as the London Metal Exchange was shut for a public holiday.
Shanghai sprung back to life after two months of bitter isolation under a ruthless COVID-19 lockdown, with shops reopening and people going back to offices, parks and markets, hoping to never go through a similar ordeal again.
“Shanghai has reopened after months of coronavirus lockdown. Though it might take weeks of recovery until economic activity bounces back, the move offers some optimism for China, the largest consumer of copper,” said Jigar Trivedi, a commodities analyst at Mumbai-based broker Anand Rathi Shares.
“The dollar has gained momentum, but factory activity in China has improved a bit from last month, hence, copper may stay elevated,” he said.
Limiting gains, the dollar hit a three-week high against the yen in early trade and was holding firm against other majors, supported by rising U.S. Treasury yields.
A stronger dollar makes greenback-denominated metals more expensive for buyers using other currencies.
Southern Copper Corp said a fire broke out at its Los Chancas mining project on Tuesday evening, around the same time as another fire started at MMG Ltd’s Las Bambas copper mine, sources said.
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 on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, data showed China’s factory activity contracted at a slower pace in May, as restrictions on some plants were rolled back.
Global copper supply will outpace demand over the next two years, helped by several upcoming large mine projects, RBC Capital Markets analysts said on Wednesday.
Other Metals: Shanghai aluminium gained 1.7%, zinc was up 0.8%, nickel climbed 2%, lead was down 0.7%, and tin eased 0.4%.