LONDON: Copper prices rose to their highest in nearly two weeks on Wednesday, boosted by a weaker dollar amid hopes that inflation is peaking and the pace of central bank rate hikes will slow.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange gained 2% in official open-outcry trading to $8,200 a tonne, the highest since Nov. 17.
The dollar index slipped ahead of a speech by the head of the US Federal Reserve later on Wednesday, making commodities priced in the US currency cheaper for buyers using other currencies.
“Fed Chairman (Jerome) Powell will probably reiterate the slower pace of rate hikes, so the dollar can take a break and that’s good news for metals,” said Amelia Xiao Fu, head of commodity market strategy at Bank of China International.
“But any rally is likely to be limited because there’s still macro pressure on commodities and inflation is still very high.” The metal, used in construction and power, touched a near five-month peak of $8,600 a tonne earlier this month but retreated largely due to fears that rising COVID cases in top consumer China may curb growth and, therefore, metals demand.
The most-traded January copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange slipped 0.3% to 64,680 yuan ($9,057.43) a tonne.
Among other metals, LME aluminium climbed 1.6% in official activity to $2,418 a tonne, zinc advanced 0.9% to $2,961, lead gained 1.6% to $2,169, but nickel dropped 1.3% to $26,500 and tin eased 0.7% to $22,625.