Copper prices hit a six-week high on Thursday as bets that the US Federal Reserve will slow the pace of interest rate hikes boosted risk assets and weakened the dollar, making bonds cheaper. metals for buyers with other currencies.
* US data on Wednesday suggests inflation may be peaking, reducing the need for interest rate hikes that would dampen economic activity and demand for metals.
* The data bolstered investors’ faith that rallies in stocks and bonds will persist, though Federal Reserve policymakers said they would keep raising rates until price pressures fade completely.
* Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 0.7% to $8,145 a tonne in official open-outcry trading, having hit $8,190.50, the highest level since the 1st of July.
* Prices of the metal used in energy and construction have risen 17% from the low reached in mid-July, but are down 25% from the peak reached in March, due to slowing economic growth and demand.
* “The thesis that inflation has peaked is driving base metals higher,” said Gianclaudio Torlizzi, a partner at consultancy T-Commodity. He added that signs of tight supply in China are also boosting copper. “Physical indicators are quite bullish. I think the price will continue to rise.”
* China’s exchanged and bonded copper stocks have fallen and import premiums are the highest since December.
* Chinese production of copper cathodes increased slightly in July.
* However, the threat of further COVID-19 lockdowns looms over the market as several Chinese cities have imposed new restrictions to contain outbreaks of cases.
* In other metals, LME aluminum was up 0.1% at $2,491 a tonne; zinc added 0.1% to $3,611; nickel gained 3.2% to $23,200; lead added 0.2% to $2,177.50; and tin was up 0.8% at $24,745.