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Copper price recovers as China covid cases ease

Shanghai financial buildings pictured. (Shutterstock Image)

Copper price rebounded on Wednesday as slowing covid-19 infections in top metals consumer China eased near-term demand concerns, even as enduring pandemic-related lockdowns weighed on sentiment.

Copper for delivery in July rose 2.3% from Tuesday’s settlement price, touching $4.25 per pound ($9,350 per tonne) midday Wednesday on the Comex market in New York.

Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices

The most-active June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was up 0.3% at 71,641 yuan ($10,666.42).

Shanghai said half the city had achieved “zero-COVID” status, but uncompromising restrictions had to remain in place under a national policy.

Lockdowns in China and worries over aggressive US interest rate hikes this year have weighed on base metals, with copper hitting its lowest in almost eight months on Monday.

“Hedge funds are turning increasingly bearish on the copper market amid mounting evidence that global manufacturing activity is starting to stall,” wrote Reuters columnist Andy Home.

“Bears now outnumber bulls on the CME copper contract for the first time since May 2020, when the copper price was just starting to recover from the first wave of covid-19 lockdowns.”

On the supply side, Peru’s government on Tuesday failed to reach an agreement with a group of indigenous communities whose protests have halted operations at MMG Ltd’s massive Las Bambas copper mine.

(With files from Reuters)

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