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BEIJING — London copper prices drifted lower on Wednesday on hawkish comments from U.S. Federal Reserve officials, while flaring geopolitical tensions between the U.S. and China during House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip to Taiwan aided risk-off sentiment.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange declined 0.4% to $7,775 a tonne as of 0200 GMT.
Hopes of slowing interest rate hike and China’s stimulus have supported a recent rally in copper. The metal is often used as an economic indicator thanks to its wide application in a variety of industry sectors.
But bearish sentiment re-emerged following lower-than-expected global factory data that worsened recession fears.
Denting the mood further, San Francisco Fed’s Daly said the central bank’s work of bringing down inflation is “nowhere near” almost done and there is still “a long way to go” to lower inflation from four-decade highs.
Meanwhile, Pelosi arrived in Taiwan late on Tuesday, the Chinese-claimed self-ruled island, sparking backlash from Beijing.
China on Wednesday also announced fresh bans of some agricultural product imports from Taiwan, following its suspension of imports from 35 Taiwanese food exporters earlier this week in a warning ahead of Pelosi’s visit.
The most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange lost 0.3% to 59,870 yuan ($8,872.39) a tonne.
LME tin shed 0.9% to $24,030 a tonne, lead edged down 0.3% to $2,043 a tonne, zinc eased 0.4% to $3,297.50 a tonne, and aluminum dipped 0.3% to $2,406.50 a tonne.
ShFE nickel decreased 2.4% to 173,380 yuan a tonne, tin dropped 1.7% to 192,960 yuan a tonne, and zinc declined 1.2% to 23,660 yuan a tonne, while aluminum gained 0.4% to 18,160 yuan a tonne.
For the top stories in metals and other news, click or ($1 = 6.7479 Chinese yuan) (Reporting by Siyi Liu and Emily Chow; editing by Uttaresh.V)
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