Copper hits highest since June on hopes for China rebound

Copper prices on Friday touched their highest since June as investors anticipated that China's easing of coronavirus restrictions will boost economic growth and metals demand.

The yuan USDCNY meanwhile rose to its strongest since September, helping dollar-priced metals by making them cheaper for buyers in the world's biggest commodities market.

Benchmark copper HG1! on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose to $8,618, the highest since June 23, before slipping to $8,535.50 by 1700 GMT, down 0.1%.

Prices of the metal used in power and construction are up around 3.5% this month after jumping 10.6% in November.

"A lot of it is to do with projections of future demand if China does continue to ease its COVID policies," said WisdomTree analyst Nitesh Shah, predicting that prices would continue to rise.

"Manufacturing demand will pick up," he said. "People are looking beyond recession and towards recovery."

But expectations that U.S. rate rises will slow have already sharply weakened the dollar DXY, giving a boost to metals.

Visible copper inventories (CU-STX-SGH), (MCUSTX-TOTAL), (HG-STX-COMEX) remain low, with Goldman Sachs predicting a supply deficit in 2023 and prices at a record-breaking $11,000 in a year.

LME aluminium ALI1! was down 0.9% at $2,480.50 a tonne, zinc ZNC1! rose 0.2% to $3,242.50, nickel NICKEL1! fell 1.5% to $29,275, lead LEAD1! was down 1.2% at $2,186.50 and tin FTIN1! fell 2.1% to $24,110.

All except aluminium and tin were heading for weekly gains.

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