LONDON: Copper prices faltered on Tuesday, unsettled by worries about the knock-on impact of a US banking crisis, a stronger dollar and a slow recovery of demand in top metals consumer China.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) shed 1.2% to $8,823.50 a tonne by 1700 GMT after rising by 0.7% on Monday.
US Comex copper futures dropped 1.3% to $4.00 per lb.
LME copper has given up about 7% since touching a seven-month peak of $9,550.50 a tonne in January, mainly on concern over demand in China and climbing global interest rates.
“It’s still the headlines about the US banks that’s the dominating factor today, creating broad risk-off sentiment across markets. So far the contagion to metals is limited, but we’re closely watching these events,” said Amelia Xiao Fu, head of commodity market strategy at Bank of China International.
A stronger dollar index also weighed on the metals market. A stronger dollar makes commodities priced in the US currency more expensive for buyers using other currencies.
LME aluminium gained 0.6% to $2,348.50 a tonne and lead added 0.4% to $2,090.50 while zinc dropped 1.1% to $2,914 and tin fell by 1.2% to $22,925.