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Copper falls on firm dollar, Evergrande debt crisis

Copper prices in London fell on Monday partly in response to a stronger dollar, while the market was also unsettled by a debt crisis at troubled property developer China Evergrande Group.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 fell as much as 2.4% to $9,092 a tonne, its lowest since Aug. 23, before edging higher to trade at $9,113.50 a tonne by 0644 GMT, still down 2.1%.

The dollar rallied to a one month-high in Asia as the problems at Evergrande Group 3333.HK plus an upcoming U.S. Federal Reserve meeting that ends on Wednesday added to the cautious mood.

A rate rise early next year by the Fed could “jangle the nerves of holders of metal,” said Malcolm Freeman, a director at UK broker Kingdom Futures in a note.

“A total collapse in Evergrande will result in vast numbers of building project being scrapped and that will mean a significant reduction in demand for metals,” Freeman said, adding that China releasing metal reserve also pressured prices.

Nickel CMNI3declined 2% to $18,975 a tonne. Prices had come close to seven-year highs on Friday as supply fears resurfaced after an Indonesian government official said the country was looking at taxes on exports of the stainless steel ingredient.

An export tariff might be unlikely at this stage as policies take time to form and implement, research house Antaike wrote in a note on Saturday, but added that nickel costs would eventually rise.


LME aluminium CMAL3 fell 1.5% to $2,841.50 a tonne, zinc CMZN3 declined 1.8% to $3,031.50 a tonne and lead CMPB3 touched its lowest since June 23 at $2,172 a tonne.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Jane Merriman)

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