Saturday, March 2

London base metal prices ease after strong rally

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HANOI — Most London base metal prices eased on Friday, taking a breather from strong rallies in the previous session on easing worries over demand.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange eased 0.2% to $8,160 a tonne as of 0206 GMT, hovering around a six-week high.

US inflation data released earlier this week was weaker than expected and raised hopes of less aggressive rate hikes in the world’s biggest economy, leaving room for more growth and metals demand.

LME tin climbed 0.5% to $25,500 a tonne, lead nudged up 0.2% to $2,203 a tonne, while zinc slid 1.2% to $3,643.50 a tonne.

Meanwhile, Shanghai copper and nickel prices jumped, partly due to depleting exchange inventories.

The most-traded September nickel contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 4.1% to 185,020 yuan ($27,431.10) a tonne.

ShFE copper gained 0.9% to 62,680 yuan a tonne, zinc steadied at 25,165 yuan a tonne, aluminum dipped 0.4% to 18,665 yuan a tonne.

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($1 = 6.7449 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)