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LONDON: Copper prices fell in London on Wednesday as a stronger dollar dented buying appetite from holders of other currencies while equities markets were shaken by fresh banking sector concerns.

Renewed unease gripped global markets on Wednesday after Credit Suisse’s largest investor said it could not provide the Swiss bank with more financial assistance.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 3.2% at $8,550 a tonne in official open-outcry trading.

“The dollar index is stronger and the European equity market is down, with concerns about the banking crisis being the key driver,” said Dan Smith, head of research at Amalgamated Metal Trading, adding that those effects were partially offset by Chinese demand hopes.

China is the world’s largest consumer of copper used in electrical wiring and construction.

Economic activity in China picked up in the first two months of 2023 as consumption and infrastructure investment drove recovery from pandemic disruption despite challenges of weak global demand and a downturn in the property sector.

Copper prices are a little more vulnerable to the market banking concerns than other base metals because the metal has had a relatively strong start to the year, Smith said. Copper touched a seven-month peak of $9,550.50 a tonne in January.

LME aluminium was down 2.4% at $2,295 a tonne in official activity, zinc shed 2.2% to $2,846, tin lost 0.9% to $22,750 while nickel declined by 0.4% to $22,950 and lead slipped by 0.1% to $2,083.

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