LONDON: Copper prices eased on Thursday after US inflation data boosted the dollar, though measures to support the economy of top metals consumer China and stronger demand limited the fall.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was down 0.4% at $7,994 per metric ton at 1436 GMT.
Prices retreated from an earlier rise after data showed US consumer prices increased slightly more than expected in September, but that underlying inflation slowed.
The dollar index surged after the data, which prompted traders to expect a greater chance of the Federal Reserve delivering another interest rate hike this year.
A firmer dollar makes commodities priced in the US currency more expensive for buyers using other currencies. Copper prices were supported by the Yangshan copper premium, which climbed to $70 a ton, the highest since December 2022, signalling solid demand for metal imports in China.
“This week, we are seeing greater interest in stockpiling from China, as downstream companies did not restock enough ahead of a week-long holiday,” Sucden brokerage said in a note. Copper stockpiles at LME-registered warehouses hit a two-year high of 181,150 tons, LME daily data showed, but on-warrant inventories dropped to 175,100 after fresh cancellations of 3,525 tons.