Copper edges higher on rising demand, tight supply

Fri Mar 19 2021
Rachel Long (668 articles)
Copper edges higher on rising demand, tight supply

Expectations of rising demand and tight supply pushed copper prices slightly higher on Friday, although investors were cautious following tensions between Chinese and U.S. diplomats and a rapid rise in U.S. bond yields.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 0.2% at $9,069 a tonne at 1730 GMT and roughly unchanged over the week.

The metal, used in power and construction, has lost momentum since reaching $9,617 last month, its highest since 2011.

The rally will likely resume, but not immediately, said Saxo Bank analyst Ole Hansen.

“There’s a little too much uncertainty going on to kick off the rally again just yet,” he said. “But the underlying fundamentals in copper remain strong.”

The first high-level U.S.-China meeting of the Biden administration saw a fiery start on Thursday, with both sides rebuking the other’s policies.

Chinese Yangshan copper import premiums fell to $67 from $77 in late February, signalling weaker demand for overseas metal. SMM-CUYP-CN

LME aluminium was up 2.4% at $2,268 a tonne after reaching $2,27, its highest since June 2018.

Aluminium is being rattled by signs of a “green” disruption in China, writes Andy Home.

LME zinc was up 1.9% at $2,845 a tonne, nickel gained 1.6% to $16,295, lead rose 2.7% to $1,974 and tin was 0.7% lower at $25,650.

Rachel Long

Rachel Long

Rachel Long is our Desk Correspondent covering Stock Markets across the globe. She is based in New York