BEIJING: Copper prices fell on Wednesday, after China’s latest economic data and a jump in COVID-19 cases fuelled worries about demand in the world’s top consumer of the metal, although tight global supplies provided some support to the metal.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange moved 1.1% down to $8,029 a tonne by 0440 GMT, after gaining 1.6% on Tuesday.
The most-traded December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced 1.2% to 66,100 yuan($9,121.52) a tonne.
China’s factory gate prices for October dropped for the first time since December 2020, and consumer inflation moderated.
Rising COVID-19 cases could again slow down industrial activities and, in turn, weigh on demand for copper, widely used in electrical, automotive and consutruction sectors.
Copper bounces on supply worries, weaker dollar
October passenger vehicle sales in China, the world’s largest vehicle market, climbed on-year but the growth failed to meet expectations at the peak season, known as “Golden September and Silver October” for the auto industry.
“Some ups and downs around current price levels are expected as economic pressure limits the upward potential, while tight supplies in the physical market should keep the market from any sharp losses,” a China-based futures trader said.
Copper stocks on the LME touched a fresh seven-month low after 1,475 tonnes of departures from Busan and New Orleans, trimming the total to 83,075 tonnes.
Market focus is now on US inflation data and the US midterm election results that could signify a power shift in Washington.
SHFE zinc dipped 0.2% at 23,665 yuan a tonne, aluminium climbed 0.9% to 18,570 yuan a tonne, while nickel rose 1.4% to 192,690 yuan a tonne.
LME aluminium slid 0.4% to $2,362 a tonne, zinc was down 0.8% to $2,908 a tonne, and lead declined 0.6% to $2,041 a tonne.