Friday, September 24

London copper rises as dollar weakens on US inflation data

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Copper prices in London climbed on Wednesday as the dollar came under pressure after data showed a tamer-than-expected rise in US inflation, leading to uncertainty over the US Federal Reserve’s timeline for tapering its monetary stimulus.

A weaker dollar supports metals prices by making greenback-priced commodities cheaper for holders of other currencies.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.5% at $9,486.50 a tonne, as of 0755 GMT, while the most-traded October copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed down 0.7% at 69,810 yuan ($10,846.13) a tonne.

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Underlying US consumer prices increased at their slowest pace in six months in August, suggesting that inflation had probably peaked though it could remain high for a while.

“Softer US inflation data is easing tapering pressure, offsetting some of the demand concerns,” ANZ analyst Soni Kumari said.

Putting a lid on prices was China’s factory and retail sectors faltering in August with output and sales growth hitting one-year lows as fresh coronavirus outbreaks and supply disruptions threatened the country’s economic recovery.

“A seasonal slowdown in (Chinese) construction activity amid tighter financing policy and Evergrande issues have weighed on market sentiment. That said, we expect construction and industrial activity to pick up from September, helping metal demand to improve,” she added.

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* Accelerating production cuts in top producer China will create large shortages of aluminum this year, while worries about supply chain disruptions in Guinea have helped propel prices to 13-year highs.

* The discount of LME cash aluminum on the three-month contract expanded to $21.25 a tonne, its biggest since July 6, indicating easing tightness in nearby supply.

* LME aluminum rose 1.3% to $2,867 a tonne, nickel increased 0.4% to $19,710 a tonne, lead fell 2.2% to $2,222.50 a tonne while ShFE aluminum shed 1.3% to 22,495 yuan a tonne and ShFE lead was down 1.9% at 14,660 yuan a tonne.

* For the top stories in metals and other news, click or

($1 = 6.4364 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Jason Neely)

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