Copper prices paused their rally on Friday but were set to end the week with a 6.6% gain on hopes that a weaker dollar and China’s dismantling of covid-19 restrictions will lift demand.
China’s zero-covid policy stifled metals demand from the world’s biggest metals consumer. The abandonment of the policy, however, has caused a wave of covid-19 infections likely to last for two to three months.
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Copper for delivery in March fell 0.1% on the Comex market in New York, to $4.19 per pound, or $9,218 per tonne.
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“(But) most investors are looking through that turbulence at the potential for Chinese copper demand to move markedly upwards,” said WisdomTree analyst Nitesh Shah.
“Above $10,000 (a tonne) should be easily in reach,” he said, adding that copper supply is likely to remain tight this year.
A central bank official on Friday pledged further support for manufacturers and small companies.
China’s 2023 copper consumption is projected to rise 4.4% to 14.8 million tonnes, Fitch Solutions Country Risk and Industry Research said.
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(With files from Reuters)