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Copper price down, pressured by stronger dollar

(Image courtesy of Codelco | Flickr.)

The copper price fell on Tuesday pressured by a stronger dollar.

March delivery contracts were exchanging hands for $4.40 a pound ($9,680 a tonne) on the Comex market in New York, down 0.4% compared to Monday’s closing.

Copper price on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended daytime trading 0.5% higher at 70,380 yuan ($11,043.46) a tonne. Shanghai copper benchmark has gained more than 20% this year.

Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices.

The most-traded February copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange fell 0.5% to 69,760 yuan ($10,948.07) a tonne.

The dollar index held firm, after rising 0.6% in the previous session, underpinned by a jump in Treasury yields overnight, as traders bet on an early US Federal Reserve interest rate hike.

While a firmer dollar makes greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies, an early rate rise could trim liquidity in financial markets and slow recovery in the world’s biggest economy.

Shanghai copper benchmark gained more than 20% in 2021, on robust demand from top consumer China, but some analysts expect demand to cool in 2022.

“China has been a primary source of demand for base metals since 2003, but we think this trend has started to come to an end,” said Justin Smirk, senior economist at Westpac in Australia.

“With the decline of investment and production as key growth drivers, this will see diminishing incremental economic growth and a reduction in materials demand as a share of output,” he said.

(With files from Reuters)