Copper price retreats as China reports rising covid cases

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Copper prices slid on Thursday as rising covid-19 infections in China and fears of a global recession weighed on prices.

Copper for delivery in March fell 0.6% on the Comex market in New York, touching $3.82 per pound or $8,404 per tonne.

[Click here for an interactive chart of copper prices]

The most-traded copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange gave up 0.4% to 66,250 yuan ($9,496.03) a tonne.

Spikes in covid-19 cases and the Lunar New Year holiday next month are expected to dampen metals demand in China.

The country will stop requiring inbound travelers to go into quarantine from Jan. 8 in a major step towards easing curbs on its borders that have mainly been shut since 2020.

Outside China, attention is focused on a dispute over taxes between Panama’s government and First Quantum Minerals.

Panamanian officials and the miner are back at the negotiating table after a hiatus of more than a week, with both sides saying they’re keen to reach a deal on tax payments and avoid a facility shutdown.

The company’s Cobre Panama mine produced 331,000 tonnes of copper last year.

(With files from Reuters)