BEIJING: Copper prices were largely unchanged on Tuesday as demand at key consumer China remained weak, and investors weighed global economic headwinds against tight supplies of the metal.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange littled changed at $8,583.50 a tonne by 0627 GMT.
The most-traded June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange edged up 0.2% to 67,160 yuan ($9,716.29) a tonne. The contract was at its highest level since April 25.
China April copper imports fall amid weak demand
Inventories of the metal in SHFE warehouses were at a near four-month low. Meanwhile, there were expectations of slower domestic output growth in the following months due to smelters’ regular maintenance.
Also weighing on the sentiment was a hazy demand outlook as copper consumption in China from power, property and transportation has yet to show strong recovery.
China’s copper imports in April fell 12.5% from the prior year, customs data showed on Tuesday.
The dollar inched higher on Tuesday after a loans survey revealed that credit conditions in the United States were less gloomy than expected, while the pound flirted with a one-year peak ahead of this week’s Bank of England policy meeting.
A stronger dollar makes it less attractive for non-dollar holders to buy the greenback-priced commodity.
Investors are also awaiting U.S. inflation data later this week to get clarity on the U.S Federal Reserve’s monetary
LME aluminium lost 1% at $2,297 a tonne, tin dipped 0.2% to $26,025 a tonne, zinc shed 0.4% to $2,677 a tonne, lead nudged down 0.4% to $2,110 a tonne, and nickel fell 2.7% to $23,870 a tonne.
SHFE aluminium fell 1.1% to 18,240 yuan a tonne,
zinc was unchanged at 21,450 yuan a tonne, lead shed 0.3% to 15,250 yuan a tonne, nickel fell 2.3% to 180,530 yuan a tonne, while tin was 0.2% higher at 208,490 yuan a tonne.