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London copper prices on Monday scaled to their highest in more than one month, as relaxation of COVID-19 lockdowns in top metals consumer China and hopes that the United States would cut tariffs on Beijing lifted sentiment.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 2.1% at $9,695 a tonne, as of 0352 GMT, after hitting its highest since April 29 at $9,805.50 in early Asian trade.

The most-traded July copper contract in Shanghai rose 1% to 72,750 yuan ($10,930.32) a tonne. Beijing and commercial hub Shanghai have been returning to normal in recent days after two months of bitter isolation under a ruthless COVID-19 lockdown.

“China’s reopening appears to be making progress, and despite a miss on today’s services PMI, the traders are putting more weight on the June data,” said Stephen Innes, managing partner at SPI Asset Management.

“There was also some good news on the China and US trade front as the Biden administration looks to step up its response to still-elevated inflationary pressures.”

Copper under pressure from recession fears

“The market is a lot healthier than it was a few weeks ago, with global economic data continuing to hold up amid the ongoing China reopening narrative.”

US Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on Sunday that President Joe Biden has asked his team to look at the option of lifting some tariffs on China that were put into place by former President Donald Trump, to combat the current high inflation.

Data:

China’s services activity in May contracted for a third straight month, pointing to a slow recovery ahead despite the easing of some lockdowns in Shanghai and neighbouring cities, a private business survey showed on Monday.

Nickel:

Fund manager Elliott Associates has sued London Metal Exchange for $456 million following the suspension and cancellation of nickel trades on the platform in March.

Prices:

LME aluminium rose 2.8% to $2,803.50 a tonne, zinc gained 2.1% to $3,944.50, lead eased 0.1% at $2,167, tin lost 1.3% to $34,470.

Shanghai aluminium gained 2.6%, zinc was up 1.1%, nickel climbed 3%, lead was down 0.9%, and tin dipped 4.1%.

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