Copper prices in London fell on Thursday as a firmer US dollar made greenback-priced metals more expensive for overseas buyers while data signaled that factory prices in top consumer China slumped, fueling concerns over economic slowdown.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.5% to $8,063 a tonne by 0218 GMT, while lead dropped 0.8% to $2,061.50 a tonne and tin declined 0.4% to $19,745 a tonne.
The dollar held on to gains marked in the previous session ahead of key US inflation data due later in the day.
China’s factory gate prices for October dropped for the first time since December 2020, and consumer inflation moderated, underlining faltering domestic demand as strict COVID-19 curbs, a property slump and global recession risks hammered the economy.
Copper is often used as a gauge of global economic health and China accounts for about half of the global consumption of the metal.
COVID-19 outbreaks in China also weighed on risk sentiment.
Lifting concerns of a slowdown, millions of residents of China’s southern manufacturing hub of Guangzhou were told on Wednesday to get tested for COVID-19, as infections topped 2,000 for two days running in the city’s worst outbreak so far.
The most-traded December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced 0.5% to 66,520 yuan ($9,151.19) a tonne, aluminum fell 0.1% to 18,500 yuan a tonne, zinc declined 0.7% to 23,550 yuan a tonne and tin dropped 1.4% to 168,170 yuan a tonne.
SHFE nickel jumped 3.1% to 198,450 yuan a tonne, and lead rose 1.5% to 15,490 yuan a tonne.
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($1 = 7.2690 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)