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Copper rises on supply risks and softening dollar

Copper prices rose on Tuesday, as supply risks flagged by major producers offset demand concerns, while a softening dollar made the metal cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 rose 1.5% to $7,591 a tonne by 0356 GMT, while the most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SCFcv1 advanced 2.1% to 58,350 yuan ($8,640.86) a tonne.

The dollar slipped for a fourth straight session as traders waited on a rate hike decision from the U.S. Federal Reserve and for any clues about whether hints of a slowing economy will prompt a shift away from its focus on inflation.

Chinese miner MMG Ltd 1208.HK said on Monday it had suspended its copper production targets for the year following a 60% output drop due to a long protest at its Las Bambas mine in Peru, which significantly disrupted operations.

Last week, miners Vale SA VALE3.SA and Antofagasta Plc ANTO.L cut their 2022 copper production outlook.

“These miners … have been struggling to meet the bottom end of their guidance ranges and in some cases lowering below. That’s providing some offset to the slowing demand growth,” said CRU analyst Craig Lang.

Metals prices have been plagued by weak demand in top consumer China due to COVID-19 outbreaks and fears of a global economic slowdown as central banks seek to hike interest rates to control high inflation.

Despite Tuesday’s rise, prices of copper, often used as a gauge of global economic health, have dropped 30% since hitting a record high of $10,845 a tonne in March.

LME aluminium CMAL3 rose 0.9% to $2,431 a tonne, LME zinc CMZN3 increased 1.4% to $3,026 a tonne, ShFE nickel SNIcv1 climbed 4.3% to 170,910 yuan a tonne, and ShFE tin SSNcv1 jumped 2.5% to 197,960 yuan a tonne.

Meanwhile, dozens of non-governmental organisations have sent a letter to Tesla Inc TSLA.O Chief Executive Elon Musk to not invest in the nickel industry in Indonesia, the world’s biggest producer of the metal, on environmental concerns.
Source: Reuters (Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Subhranshu Sahu)

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