Copper hovers near 8-year high on weaker dollar

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London copper prices are hovering around an eight-year high as a weaker dollar lent support, but trading was thin due to the Lunar New Year holiday in China. The three-month copper contract on the London Metal Exchange dipped 0.1 per cent to $ 8,289 a tonne, rebounding from a 0.7 per cent fall earlier in the session and hovering near its highest since February 2013 of $8,327.50 a tonne.

A weaker dollar also pressured by soft inflation and the prospects of prolonged low interest rates in the United States, makes greenback-priced metals on the LME cheaper and more appealing to holders of other currencies.

Trading was subdued as the Shanghai Futures Exchange is shut during Feb. 11-17 for the Lunar New Year holidays in China, the world’s top metals consumer.

Aluminium declined 0.4 per cent to $ 2,070.50 a tonne, lead shed 0.7 per cent at $ 2,080 a tonne, nickel decreased 0.3 per cent to $ 18,605 a tonne, while zinc rose by 0.3 per cent at $ 2,733 a tonne.

Producers of nickel pig iron in Indonesia are looking at converting their material into an intermediate product that can be turned into nickel chemicals for the lucrative electric vehicle market. China’s refined nickel cathode output fell 7.8 per cent year-on-year to 12,981 tonnes in January 2021.  Rough seas and a shortage of containers have bogged down shipments of copper cathodes from top copper producer Chile, and may continue to slow exports.

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