LONDON – Copper prices rose on Thursday on concerns that top metal consumers could lift a lockdown in China, despite concerns over weak global growth.
Nickel jumped up 11%, mainly due to short-covering in thin volume, traders said.
The benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 2.1% to 15 9,429.50 per tonne at 1615 GMT after falling 1.4% in the previous session.
On Thursday, for the first time in almost two months, more Shanghai residents were given the freedom to shop for groceries as authorities made further plans to exit the citywide COVID-19 lockdown.
Stock markets fell on Thursday on concerns about an economic downturn, fueled by poor results a day earlier and the outlook of major U.S. retailers.
“Copper holds below the S&P 500 today, pointing to some underlying strengths,” said Ole Hansen, head of commodity strategy at Saxo Bank in Copenhagen.
“This strength is fundamentally based on the signs of a lockdown in China and low inventory that does not match the potential pick-up of demand.”
Aggressive U.S. rate-growth bets, the ongoing lockdown in China and a batch of weak economic readings from major countries have led to slower concerns and weighed on industrial metals.
* LME Nickel rose 8.9% to 28,490, the biggest one-day gain in two months, after a brief rise of about 11%. Nickel has largely calmed down after the extreme unrest in March, which saw transactions suspended and restrictions imposed.
* Supporting metals were a weak dollar indicator, hitting a two-week low, making greenback-aligned metals less expensive for buyers using other currencies.
* Global nickel market deficit deepened to 11,100 tonnes in March, from 1,800 tonnes a month earlier, data from the International Nickel Study Group showed on Wednesday.
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* LME aluminum rose 2% to $ 2,915, lead rose 1.2% to $ 2,078, zinc rose 2.7% to $ 3,717.50 and tin rose 4.3% to $ 34,440. (Additional reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bangalore edited by Krishna Chandra Iluri and Mark Potter)