LONDON: Copper prices in London rose in volatile trading on Monday as markets processed the sudden collapse of startup-focused Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), the biggest US bank failure since the 2008 financial crisis.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.6% to $8,923.0 a tonne by 1643 GMT, having hit its highest since March 7 and then the weakest since Jan. 6 earlier in the session.

The volatility in copper and other base metals prices is “the result of the overall risk aversion that is spreading in financial markets due to the collapse of SVB,” said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke.

Global shares were down and oil prices fell even as President Joe Biden vowed to take whatever action was needed to ensure the safety of the US banking system.

A weaker dollar, which makes dollar-priced metals cheaper to holders of other currencies, supported prices. The dollar fell on heightened expectations the Federal Reserve will be less aggressive with monetary policy.

“The direction of US interest rates is another key question for the (metals) complex with the data released last week painting a mixed picture for the economy. Key US inflation data will be in the spotlight later this week for more clues on the Fed’s interest rates path,” ING analyst Ewa Manthey said.

In China, signs of improving copper demand have emerged and supported prices. SHFE copper inventories declined for the second straight week to hit their lowest since Jan. 20.

LME aluminium prices rose 0.9% to $2,334.5 a tonne, zinc added 0.3% at $2,945.0, lead increased 0.1% to $2,080.0, while tin climbed 1.3% to $23,210.0 and nickel rose 2.6% to $23,275.0.


Comments are closed.