BY ONOME AMUGE
Copper and aluminium prices moved in an upward direction on Friday, but the industrial metals suffered weekly declines as the dollar held firm while worries grew that rising interest rates would dent global economic growth.
Three-month aluminium on the London Metal Exchange (LME) gained 0.6 percent to $2,520 a tonne, after falling to its lowest since July 28 at $2,487 the previous day. The contract, however, declined about 6 percent for the week.
Similarly, LME copper was up 0.5 percent to $9,121 a tonne, but was down 3.5 percent at the close of the week.
Commenting on the metals’ wavering valuation and slow demand, Jigar Trivedi, a commodities analyst at Mumbai-based broker Anand Rathi Shares, said China, the largest consumer of aluminium and copper, is struggling with its COVID-19 situation.
Trivedi expressed optimism that the market would improve as Covid-19 cases abate significantly, though data showed that Shanghai’s economy declined for a second consecutive month in May, weighing on the commercial hub’s recovery prospects following a two-month Covid lockdown.
“Industrial metals are really not sure what direction to take on China. One day there’s a headline saying everything’s opening up. The next day there’s a partial close-down again,” said Caroline Bain, chief commodities economist at Capital Economics in London.
Meanwhile, market reports showed that zinc stocks in LME-approved warehouses are at their lowest in more than two years due to shortages in Europe where record-high power prices have led to production cuts of the metal.
Other metals on the LME recorded mixed results as zinc gained 0.4 percent to $3,592 a tonne, lead rose 1.1 percent to $2,124.50 a tonne, and tin lost 1.3 percent to $31,600 a tonne.
Metal prices were mostly bearish on the Shanghai Futures Exchange as copper declined 1.6 percent, zinc dipped 1.4 percent, nickel was down 3.7 percent, tin fell 4.5 percent, while lead was up 1.3 percent.