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London copper prices on Tuesday held steady near a more than three-week high, after better factory activity data and easing of COVID-19 lockdowns in top metals consumer China lifted demand prospects.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was flat at $9,537.50 a tonne by 0342 GMT, after hitting its highest since May 5 at $9,579 on Monday.
For the month of May, copper is on track for its second monthly decline with a drop of 2.5%, after lockdowns in China and rising interest rates led to growth worries. The metal is often used as a gauge of global economic health.
Other metals also headed for monthly losses, with tin poised for its worst month since September 2011.
The most-traded July copper contract in Shanghai was up 0.1% at 72,070 yuan ($10,810.61) a tonne by the midday break.
“There are better demand expectations since industrial activity is recovering and consumer demand is increasing on the back of declining COVID-19 cases in China, Shanghai reopening and manufacturing restarting from Wednesday,” a metals trader in Singapore said.
Data showed China’s factory activity contracted at a slower pace in May, as restrictions on some plants were rolled back after the economy was hit hard by the widespread COVID-19 curbs.
Shanghai on Monday announced an end to its two-month long COVID-19 lockdown, allowing a vast majority of people in China’s largest city to leave their homes and drive their cars from Wednesday.
SUPPORT: China will accelerate its issuance of special bonds by local governments in order to stabilize the country’s slowing economy, the finance ministry said on Monday.
DOLLAR: Limiting gains, the dollar rose 0.3% against its rivals, making greenback-denominated metals more expensive for buyers using other currencies.
FED: The U.S. Federal Reserve should be prepared to raise interest rates by half a percentage point at every meeting from now on until inflation is decisively curbed, Fed Governor Christopher Waller said.
PRICES: LME aluminum eased 0.2% to $2,881.50 a tonne, zinc rose 0.4% to $3,914, lead added 0.5% to $2,185, tin was down 0.1% at $34,560.
Shanghai aluminum was flat, zinc was up 0.4%, nickel added 0.9%, lead gained 0.1%, and tin rose 1.5%. ($1 = 6.6666 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich and Uttaresh.V)
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