London copper prices inched lower on Thursday, as traders took a breather following five straight sessions of gains that took prices above $9,000 a tonne for the first time since June.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.2% to $9,107 a tonne by 0225 GMT, while the most-traded March copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced 1.8% to 68,650 yuan ($10,155.33) a tonne.
A weaker dollar and China’s slew of policy support for the economy — as it reopened borders and removed COVID-19 restrictions — have fuelled optimism for improving metals demand from its top consuming market.
However, physical demand remained subdued in the traditionally off-peak season and amid a looming global economic downturn.
Prospects of further rate hikes and a firm dollar also pressured metals prices.
Yangshan copper premium fell to $32.50 a tonne, its lowest since April 2022, indicating weakening demand to import copper into China.
LME aluminium declined 1.4% to $2,476 a tonne, lead declined 1.1% to $2,167.50 a tonne, zinc eased 0.9% to $3,178 a tonne, while tin rose 0.7% to $27,000 a tonne.
SHFE nickel fell 2.9% to 201,330 yuan a tonne, lead declined 0.9% to 15,335 yuan a tonne, while tin rose 2.8% to 214,740 yuan a tonne, zinc advanced 0.4% to 23,815 yuan a tonne.
Britain’s financial watchdog is blocking the restart of LME nickel trade in Asian hours due to doubts about the exchange’s ability to run an orderly market in that time zone, three sources with knowledge of the matter said.