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Copper price falls on Chinese demand fears

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Copper prices fell on Monday after China reaffirmed its stringent covid-19 restrictions and data reinforced demand worries.

After its best trading day in years on Friday, copper for December retreated by 2.6% in New York to exchange hands for $3.593 per pound ($7,904 a tonne) in midday trade.

Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices

“China’s zero-covid policy is not the only problem,” said Julius Baer analyst Carsten Menke. “Removing that policy won’t fix the property market … wiring in buildings and households account for a large proportion of copper demand.”

China’s property market continued its slump in October, with private data showing home prices and sales falling, while trade data showed imports of unwrought copper and copper products fell 1.5% in October from the same period a year ago.

The country’s zero-covid approach and lockdowns have squeezed its manufacturing sector and hit demand for industrial metals.

“Easing lockdowns ahead of winter – as China’s covid infections are rising – seems an irrational bull case for investors,” Liberum analyst Tom Price said in a note.

(With files from Reuters)