Copper deflates below US$10,000 ahead of holiday in China


Malaysia Smelting Corp tin smelting - File pic

LONDON: Copper drifted lower on Friday, hovering below the $10,000 level it briefly broke through a day earlier as the dollar strengthened and some speculators locked in profits.

Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange had shed 0.8% to $9,803 a tonne by 1600 GMT after five sessions of gains. It rose to as high as $10,008 on Thursday, close to an all-time record of $10,190 hit in February 2011.

LME copper, which has gained 27% so far in 2021, was still on track for a monthly gain of 9%, boosted by optimism around prospects for a quick global economic recovery as well as tightening supply.

"There's been a bit of profit-taking in copper, we're going into the holiday season in China," said Robert Montefusco at broker Sucden Financial.

Chinese bourses will be shut from May 3-5 for the Labour Day break, while the LME will be closed on May 3 for a bank holiday.

"But people still seem to be quite bullish. There's a lot of bullish talk from the banks and trade houses about the green energy targets," Montefusco said.

Citibank said this week there was a good chance copper could hit $12,000 a tonne over the next three to six months.

* The dollar rose, extending gains after upbeat data on U.S. personal income and spending, making commodities priced in the U.S. currency more expensive for buyers using other currencies.

* Factory activity in top metals consumer China expanded at a slower-than-expected pace in April.

* Tin prices surged after Malaysia Smelting Corp, the world's third largest tin producer, told clients its smelting operation was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

* Three month tin hit $29,225 a tonne, the highest since May 2011, before reversing and slipping 0.3% to $28,405.

* LME aluminium fell 0.5% to $2,406 after touching a fresh three-year peak, lead gained 1.3% to $2,143, nickel advanced 2.4% to $17,665, the strongest in nearly two months, while zinc gave up 0.2% to $2,912

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