Copper prices fell on Tuesday, pressured by a stronger dollar, while a rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus cases worldwide also weighed on sentiment.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 1% at $9,619 a tonne by 0240 GMT, its lowest level since Dec. 24. 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 U.S. Federal Reserve interest rate hike.
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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.
Among other industrial metals, LME aluminum fell 0.9% to $2,782 a tonne, nickel slipped 1.3% to $20,495 a tonne, lead was down 0.6% at $2,289.5 a tonne, tin was 1.3% lower at $38,340 a tonne and zinc dipped 0.7% to $3,511 a tonne.
* ShFE aluminum fell 1.2% to 20,170 yuan a tonne, while nickel eased 0.4% to 150,900 yuan and tin slipped 1.4% to 289,620 yuan. Zinc was down 0.6% at 24,095 yuan a tonne and lead edged up 0.3% at 15,410 yuan.
* China’s factory activity grew at its fastest pace in six months in December, driven by production hikes and easing price pressures, but a weaker job market and business confidence added uncertainty, a private survey showed.
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* Asian stocks were firmer, following Wall Street’s record highs on its first trading day of 2022, despite worries that the widespread Omicron COVID-19 variant could put the brakes on global economic recovery.
0745 France CPI (EU Norm) Prelim YY Dec
0855 Germany Unemployment Rate, Chng SA Dec
0930 UK Markit/CIPS Mfg PMI Final Dec
1500 US ISM Manufacturing PMI Dec ($1 = 6.3719 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
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