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LME copper scales 6-month peak on China demand hopes

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London copper jumped to a more than six-month high on Monday, while most other base metals also rose amid optimism over demand after top consumer China reopened its borders.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 1.2% to $8,689 a tonne by 0323 GMT, after hitting its highest since June. 23, 2022 of $8,706.50 earlier in the session.

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The most-traded March copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange advanced 1.6% to 66,150 yuan ($9,738.40) a tonne. The contract leaped 1.8% earlier in the session to its highest since Dec. 30 at 66,260 yuan a tonne.

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China’s yuan hit a near five-month high against the dollar, breaching a key threshold, on optimism over economic recovery following the country’s border reopening and seasonal demand for the local unit.

After three years, mainland China opened sea and land crossings with Hong Kong and ended a requirement for incoming travelers to quarantine, dismantling a final pillar of a zero-COVID policy.

Economists and analysts also believed policymakers in China will take more steps to stimulate home demand this year, as part of Beijing’s overall goal to bolster its $17 trillion economy, after a sharp COVID-induced downturn.

Metals are used extensively in housing construction.

LME zinc increased 2.1% to $3,088 a tonne, lead increased 2% to $2,244 a tonne, aluminum advanced 1.7% to $2,333.50 a tonne and tin was up 0.6% at $25,430 a tonne.

SHFE aluminum advanced 0.9% to 18,025 yuan a tonne, zinc increased 1.5% to 23,585 yuan a tonne, nickel fell 0.6% to 211,360 yuan a tonne and lead fell 0.7% to 15,560 yuan a tonne.

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DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0700 Germany Industrial Output MM

0700 Germany Industrial Production YY

1000 EU Unemployment Rate

($1 = 6.7927 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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