London copper set for best month since January

31st July 2023 By: Reuters

London copper set for best month since January

Copper prices in London were on track on Monday for their best monthly performances since January on prospects of further stimulus in top consumer China and that the US Federal Reserve will pause rate hikes for the year.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.1% at $8 658 per metric ton by 08:12 GMT. On a monthly basis, the contract was up 4.1%.

The most-traded September copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange increased 1% to 69 530 yuan ($9 729.24) per metric ton. It was up 3.6% on a monthly basis, the second straight month of gains.

US annual inflation logged its smallest increase in more than two years in June, raising hopes that the Fed is close to ending its interest rate-hike cycle, which could potentially halt a dollar rally that has made greenback-priced metals pricier for holders of other currencies.

The dollar was headed for a monthly loss.

Pledges from the Chinese authorities to boost the country's troubled property sector - which accounts for a vast amount of metals consumption - have also been fuelling bullish sentiment in the metals market.

"Any support for the property sector will be seen as positive for demand for copper," said ANZ analysts in a report.

Weak economic data in China continued to weigh on prices. Chinese manufacturing activity fell for a fourth straight month in July, while the services and construction sectors teetered on the brink of contraction.

LME aluminium rose 0.5% to $2 234 per metric ton, zinc CMZN3 advanced 0.7% to $2 514, lead CMPB3 fell 0.1% to $2 156, nickel CMNI3 declined 1.5% to $21 970 and tin CMSN3 rose 0.2% to $28 795.

SHFE aluminium SAFcv1 was flat at 18 380 yuan per metric ton, tin SSNcv1 eased 0.1% to 233 200 yuan, nickel SNIcv1 rose 1.8% to 172 260 yuan and zinc SZNcv1 was up 1.5% at 20 890 yuan.

SHFE lead climbed 3.7% in July, its best monthly performance since October 2021.