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Copper firms ahead of major Chinese indicators

Copper prices rose on Thursday as China’s measures to support economic recovery helped to alleviate price pressure from high inventories while the market awaits major Chinese indicators.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 0.6% at $8,464 per metric ton in official open-outcry trading after touching a one-week high of $8,491.

Demand for copper, used in power and construction, has been muted this year by a patchy post-COVID economic recovery in top metals consumer China while a relatively strong U.S. currency makes dollar-priced commodities more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

“We are certainly seeing the battle between a strengthening dollar versus supportive stimulus out of China and better than expected data (in China) for August,” said StoneX analyst Natalie Scott-Gray.

“(China’s) August economic data releases have been suggestive that we may have hit the bottom and are about to see a turnaround in metal demand. However, the release of numbers tomorrow will be critical.”

China’s monthly new home sales, property investment and industrial production are due on Friday and expected to provide more clarity on the health of the economy.

The European Central Bank raised its key interest rate to a record high on Thursday and signalled that this is likely to be its final move in a lengthy fight to tame high inflation.

Meanwhile, copper stocks in LME-registered warehouses are at their highest since October 2022 after sharp growth over July-September.

In other metals, LME aluminium was up 0.8% at $2,234.5 a ton, tin rose 0.4% to $25,800, lead gained 0.5% to $2,229 and nickel jumped 1.8% to $20,425.

Zinc climbed 1.9% to $2,573 after touching $2,584 for its highest since Aug. 1.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Polina Devitt,Additional reporting by Siyi Liu,Editing by David Goodman)

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