Base metal prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) struggled to maintain bullish sentiments on Thursday morning as concerns that the spread of the Delta variant could lead to stricter lockdowns placed pressure on demand.
Copper gained 0.3 percent at $9,490.50 per tonne, aluminium was up 0.3 percent at $2,570.50 per tonne, zinc rose 0.6 percent at $2,980 per tonne. Other base metals however slipped into negative territory as lead shed 0.2 percent at 2,366.50 per tonne, tin lost 0.5 percent at $34,500 per tonne and nickel slipped 0.3 percent at $19,210 per tonne.
The most active base metals contracts on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (ShFE) traded lower as September copper shed 0.4 percent at 69,680 yuan per tonne, September aluminium slid 0.1 percent at 19,735 yuan per tonne, September nickel was down 0.6 percent at 142,330 yuan per tonne, September lead slipped 0.9 percent at 15,760 and September tin lost 0.2 percent at 228,230 yuan per tonne. October zinc, however, made an exception as it gained 0.3 percent at 22,130 yuan per tonne.
Commodity analysts assert that there is currently insufficient bullishness to chase prices higher to record highs due to a slump in demand for most base metals. Market reports also showed that investors are worried about lockdown measures as more countries record a spread in covid-19 cases, a move likely to impact appetite for base metals.