LONDON: Copper prices in London were on track for a second consecutive weekly gain on Friday, helped by efforts to support the property market in top metals consumer China, a weaker dollar and improved risk appetite in financial markets.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose by 0.3% to $8,431 a metric ton by 1709 GMT and was up 2% over the week. “The positive performance in copper this week is very much driven by a risk-friendly environment in financial markets overall, extending the gains that were triggered by the lower than expected US CPI earlier this month,” said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke.
A weaker US currency, meanwhile, made dollar-priced commodities more attractive for buyers using yuan and other currencies. The dollar index fell after data showed US business activity held steady in November.
Industrial metals were also buoyed by China’s renewed support for the property sector. Higher import demand in China is reflected in a rally in the Yangshan copper premium, which ended this week at a one-year high.
Higher prices and premiums will eventually undercut China’s recent stronger demand impulse “largely continuing to keep copper prices capped and in a range”, said JP Morgan analyst Gregory Shearer. On the technical front, the various supportive factors - including supply concerns over Panama and Peru - were not enough to drive copper through resistance coming from the 200-day moving average of $8,456.
In other metals, LME aluminium dipped 0.3% to $2,218.5 a ton, tin fell 1.6% to $24,075, zinc added 0.6% to $2,553.5 and lead slipped 0.9% to $2,195 a ton.
Nickel lost 2.6% to $16,190 a ton, after hitting $15,995, its lowest since April, 2021. The metal is under pressure from a global surplus created by surging output in Indonesia and rising net short nickel positions on the LME.