Base metals recover from banking shocks; face weekly loss

17th March 2023 By: Reuters

BEIJING - Most base metals prices rallied on Friday, boosted by an easing of concerns over a banking crisis triggered by Silicon Valley Bank and Credit Suisse, but lingering fears over rising interest rates and recession left them on course for weekly losses.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 1.9% to $8 683.50 a tonne by 08:57 GMT. The contract has declined 2.1% this week.

The most-traded April copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange ended day-trading 0.2% higher at 67 220 yuan ($9 773.76) a tonne, but it is down 2.8% this week.

Copper prices, viewed as an economic bellwether, have been dominated by a rout in global markets after US-based Silicon Valley Bank collapsed last week and crisis-hit Swiss lender Credit Suisse's shares fell heavily this week.

Investors welcomed news a large group of banks infused cash into US lender First Republic Bank and Swiss National Bank had provided a lifeline to Credit Suisse.

The dollar fell, making it more attractive for holders of other currencies to buy the dollar-priced commodity.

LME aluminium rose 1.6% to $2 303.50 a tonne, zinc increased 2.3% to $2 923.50, lead advanced 0.4% to $2 075 and tin rose 1% to $22 440.

US central bankers are expected to adopt a more measured pace as they try to contain inflation, with a quarter-point interest-rate hike predicted at their meeting next week.

Macroeconomic pressure this week outweighed signs of demand recovery in top consumer China.

China's home prices gained momentum nationally in February, rising for a second consecutive month driven by pent-up demand even in smaller cities, but prices have yet to recoup all their losses and there remains a sizable stock of unsold homes. Aluminium added 0.5% to 18 230 yuan a tonne, nickel advanced 0.4% to 175 960 yuan, zinc was up 0.7% to 22 520 yuan and tin gained 0.9% to 183 520 yuan.