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LONDON: Copper prices rose on Thursday due to measures to support the economy, demand in top metals consumer China and a relatively weak dollar, with investor focus on upcoming crucial U.S. inflation data.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 0.5%, to $8,065.5 per metric ton, by 0955 GMT.

Yangshan copper premium rose to $70 a ton, the highest since December 2022, signalling solid demand for metal imports in China.

“This week, we are seeing greater interest in stockpiling from China, as downstream companies did not restock enough ahead of a week-long holiday,” Sucden brokerage said in a note.

Copper stockpiles at the LME-registered warehouses hit the two-year high of 181,150 tons, the LME daily data showed, but on-warrant inventories dropped to 175,100 after fresh cancellations of 3,525 tons.

A discount for the cash over the LME three-month copper contract stood at the 31-year high of $77.5 per ton as of market close on Wednesday.

“The short-term outlook remains bearish for metals demand and we do not foresee a substantial recovery before next year,” said ING analyst Ewa Manthey.

Copper slides as China property market jitters resurface

“Metals prices should continue to trade under pressure in the fourth quarter, with the only upside risk being if Chinese demand recovers faster than anticipated.”

The U.S. dollar meandered near a two-week low ahead of U.S. September inflation data that will help shape the Federal Reserve’s next policy steps. Weaker U.S. currency makes dollar-priced metals more attractive for buyers holding other currencies.

LME aluminium eased 0.5% to $2,203 a ton after hitting the lowest since Sept. 19 of $2,195, zinc fell 0.3% to $2,469.5, tin advanced 0.6% to $25,075, and nickel climbed 2.4% to $18,805.

Lead fell 0.8% to $2,077 after touching its lowest since July 12 of $2,075 as the LME-registered inventories rose to the highest since June 2021.

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