Base metals under pressure as recession fears build

13th April 2023

By: Reuters


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Prices of most base metals in London were under pressure on Thursday as recession fears again dampened demand outlook, despite support from a shaky dollar.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was unchanged at $8 919 a tonne, as of 0525 GMT.

The most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SCFcv1 rose 0.4% to 69 210 yuan ($10 069.84) a tonne.

Analysts say industrial metals will benefit from China's economic growth this year, while data of March copper imports reflected a softer-than-expected demand recovery.

China's copper imports fell 19% in March from a year earlier, according to customs data, as domestic production climbed and higher global prices restrained interest.

Minutes from the Federal Reserve's policy meeting last month showed officials forecasting that the banking sector stress would tip the economy into recession.

Investors are cutting their bullish bets in major metals in the face of rising recession risks, analysts at ANZ said in a note.

LME aluminium held steady at $2 325 a tonne, lead dipped 0.1% to $2 127, nickel trimmed 0.5% at $23 465. Zinc was little changed at $2 784.50, while tin added 0.2% to $24 060.

The dollar was on the back foot on Thursday after cooler-than-anticipated U.S. inflation data lifted risk sentiment and stoked expectations that the Fed will pause its monetary tightening after hiking interest rates one last time next month.

SHFE aluminium advanced 0.4% to 18 510 yuan, zinc eased 0.2% to 21 945 yuan, and lead nudged up 0.3% to 15 325 yuan. Tin climbed 1% to 192 700 yuan, while nickel slid 0.6% to 181 010 yuan.

Chinese metal consumers will benefit from a likely appreciation of the yuan amid the country's ongoing credit and liquidity easing signals, Goldman Sachs said in a note.

Edited by Reuters



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