LONDON: Copper prices clawed higher on Friday on a weaker dollar and after Chinese data showed the economy of the world’s top metals consumer was slowly recovering.
Capping the gains, however were worries about the prospect for a long period of high interest rates and weak global economic growth.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 0.2% at $8,05 per metric ton by 1000 GMT. On a weekly basis, the contract eased 0.5%, the second straight week of decline.
Chinese data showed exports declined less than expected in September while total social financing (TSF) climbed to 4.12 trillion yuan from 3.12 trillion in August, higher than analysts had forecasted.
TSF includes off-balance sheet forms of financing outside the conventional bank lending system.
Copper prices rise on China demand hopes
“The Chinese export data are still negative, but compared to the prior month, it’s a significant step in the right direction,” said Nitesh Shah, commodity strategist at WisdomTree.
“Things from the data side are generally moving in the right direction in China. It seems like the stimulus activity is helping. An easing of dollar pressure is also helpful for copper today.”
The dollar index edged lower after its biggest daily increase since March the day before as hot U.S. consumer prices data revived prospects that the Federal Reserve may have to raise rates further.
“Higher-for-longer interest rate narrative and consequent slower economic growth concerns are keeping industrial metals prices on a weaker footing. There could be more downside for the sector,” said analyst Soni Kumari at ANZ.
Chinese real estate market concern and rising LME copper stockpiles and mine supply from South America dented sentiment, she added.
LME aluminium was little changed at $2,200.50 a ton, nickel fell 0.8% to $18,580, zinc eased 0.6% to $2,436 while tin climbed 0.8% to $25,010.
LME lead dipped 0.2% to $2,049 with the contract down 4.3% on a weekly basis and set for the biggest weekly fall since late January.