Benchmark copper prices were firmer in early trade on Tuesday, as the US dollar lost ground and risk sentiment improved after Federal Reserve policymakers allayed investor fears of a rapid pace of monetary tightening.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.3% at $9,530.50 a tonne, as of 0236 GMT, following a 2.2% decline in January, pressured by the dollar’s strength and concerns over prospects of a more hawkish US central bank.
A firmer dollar makes greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies, while higher US interest rates could trim liquidity in financial markets and hamper global economic recovery prospects, thus hurting demand for metals.
The dollar nursed its wounds following its biggest drop in nearly three weeks against major peers, as Fed policymakers signaled a lift-off in rates in March, but spoke cautiously about what might follow.
* Trading volumes, however, were expected to remain thin as markets in top metals consumer China remained closed for the week-long Lunar New Year holiday.
* Chile’s copper output ended 2021 down 1.9% at 5.68 million tonnes, the country’s statistics agency said on Monday, while output in the world’s top copper producer dipped 0.6% in the final month of the year to 503,605 tonnes.
* Tensions between Russia and the United States over Moscow’s troop build-up near Ukraine spilled into the United Nations Security Council on Monday, with both countries accusing each other of being “provocative.”
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* World stocks climbed higher on Monday as investors digested new optimism from the US Treasury’s top economist that inflationary pressures should ease in 2022 due to weaker demand for goods, easing supply bottlenecks and a receding coronavirus pandemic.
0330 Australia RBA Cash Rate Feb
0700 UK Nationwide house prices Jan
0745 France CPI Prelim YY Jan
0850 France Markt Manufacturing PMI Jan
0855 Germany Markit/BME Mfg PMI Jan
0855 Germany Unemployment Rate SA Jan
0900 EU Markit Mfg Final PMI Jan
0930 UK Markit/CIPS Mfg PMI Final Jan
1000 EU Unemployment Rate Dec
1445 US Markit Mfg PMI Final Jan
1500 US ISM Manufacturing PMI Jan
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(Reporting by Enrico Dela Cruz in Manila; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)