BEIJING - Copper prices climbed on Friday to their highest in nearly five months, as US inflation data bolstered hopes for a slower pace of interest rate hikes in the world's largest economy that would support industrial metals demand.
The softer-than-expected data also sent the dollar sharply lower overnight. A weaker dollar makes greenback-priced metals cheaper for buyers holding other currencies.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 was up 1% at $8 354.5 a tonne, as of 02:12 GMT, hitting the highest since June 16.
The most-traded December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SCFcv1 advanced 1.8% to a four-month high at 67 830 yuan ($9 445.89) a tonne.
US consumer prices rose less than expected in October, pushing the annual increase below 8% for the first time in eight months, the strongest signs yet that inflation was slowing, which would allow the Federal Reserve to scale back its hefty interest rate hikes.
Sharp interest rate hikes by global central banks to tame soaring inflation have pressured risk assets this year, with copper prices down 21.8% from a March high.
Among other factors supporting the copper market, global supplies remained tight. Copper inventories on LME warehouses dropped 950 tonnes, trimming headline levels to 80 025 tonnes, the lowest in seven-and-a-half months.
Among other metals, SHFE tin SSNcv1 jumped 6.4% to 179 270 yuan a tonne, nickel SNIcv1 rose 4% to 206 170 yuan a tonne, aluminium SAFcv1 gained 1% to 18 735 yuan a tonne, and zinc SCNcv1 climbed 0.6% to 23 725 yuan a tonne.
LME aluminium CMAL3 was up 0.7% at $2 343 a tonne, zinc CMZN3 rose 1.2% to $2 919.50 a tonne and tin CMSN3 climbed 2.3% to $20 800 a tonne, while lead CMPB3 dipped 0.5% to $2 088.50 a tonne.
Edited by: Reuters
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