Copper prices rise as Fed chief soothes rate hike fears

HANOI: Copper prices advanced on Wednesday as testimony from the U.S. Federal Reserve’s chair Jerome Powell eased worries of a rate hike soon, which traders feared could dampen liquidity into financial assets including metals and hit economic recovery.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.6% to $9,360 a tonne by 0516 GMT, while the most-traded July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange increased to 68,430 yuan ($10,556.93) a tonne.

On Tuesday, Powell reaffirmed the central bank’s intent to encourage a “broad and inclusive” recovery of the job market, and not to raise interest rates too quickly based only on the fear of coming inflation.

Last week investors fretted that the central bank could tighten its policy sooner than expected, leading to LME copper dropping 8.6%, its biggest weekly fall since March 2020.

China’s state reserves administration said it would publicly auction a total of 100,000 tonnes of non-ferrous metals early next month in the first round of a rare and highly anticipated release of its stockpiles.

LME nickel rose 0.8% to $17,890 a tonne, while ShFE nickel jumped 2.8% to 133,870 yuan a tonne and ShFE tin climbed 3.5% to 207,550 yuan a tonne.

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