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LONDON: Copper prices hit their highest in almost two years on Friday while other base metals delivered strong growth as investment funds continued a buying spree driven by supply concerns.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 1% to $9,834 a metric ton by 0953 GMT after touching $9,843 for its highest since April 29, 2022.

The metal used in power and construction is up 16% over the past two months.

“The major themes remain the same. April has seen broad money inflows into the commodity space,” said Alastair Munro, senior base metals strategist at broker Marex.

A Citi note said the bank’s base case scenario now projects copper prices of up to $10,500 a ton while averaging $10,000 in the second and the third quarters.

“On the balance of risks, we now see the present rally continuing over the coming three months,” it added.

China’s March refined copper output jumps 8% y/y

LME aluminium rose 1.7% to $2,659.50 a ton as the market adapted to moves by Washington and London to prohibit the LME and Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) from accepting new Russia-made aluminium, copper and nickel to exchange warehouses.

LME daily data showed continued investor notifications of their desire to remove metal from LME-registered warehouses. This reduced available LME aluminium stocks to 171,200 tonnes, representing the weakest level since August 2022.

LME tin hit a 22-month high at $35,100 a ton and was last up 3.3% at $35,065. The price and spreads have registered sharp gains this week on a large position taken by one party, fund buying and worries about supply.

Nickel jumped 3.6% to $19,235 a ton after closing above the 200-day moving average in the previous session. It hit $19,355, a seven-month high, on Monday.

Zinc climbed 1.3% to $2,849 a ton and lead advanced 0.9% to $2,199.50.

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