LONDON: Copper prices extended losses on Friday and were on track for a 2% weekly decline on concern over global economic growth and demand in China, the world’ biggest metals consumer.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 0.5% at $8,840.5 a tonne by 1021 GMT.
“Copper is under pressure after disappointing U.S. data, with risk-off sentiment hitting markets towards the end of the week,” said ING analyst Ewa Manthey.
“While China dictates most of the metals prices, slowing global economic growth could cap price gains going forward.”
Global equities struggled on Friday as investors pored over economic data for clues on the likelihood of more interest rate hikes and possible recession in the United States.
The dollar was set for its first weekly gain in more than a month, making dollar-priced metals more expensive for buyers holding other currencies.
Copper, used in power and construction, hit a seven-month high in January after China removed its strict COVID curbs, but prices for the metal have since retreated as Chinese demand failed to surge as much as expected.
Copper slides on worries about rates, Chinese demand
“There are still risks to the China reopening story, including the difficult export environment with weak external demand likely to drag down China’s economic growth,” ING’s Manthey said.
The Yangshan premium, which reflects demand for imported copper into China, fell 5% this week while China’s March refined copper output jumped 9% to a record high of 1.05 million tonnes.
Inventories in warehouses monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 2.3% this week to 146,016 tonnes.
In other metals, LME aluminium slipped by 1% to $2,397.5 a tonne, zinc fell 0.7% to $2,752, nickel shed 2.1% to $24,545, tin was down 1.6% at $26,500 and lead edged up by 0.1% to $2,155.