Copper rises on hopes US rate hike will slow

LONDON (Reuters) – Copper prices rose to a three-week high on Thursday as investors anticipate a slowdown in US interest rate hikes and improved demand from China’s largest consumer.

The Federal Reserve raised interest rates by another 0.75% on Wednesday, but comments from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell raised expectations for a slightly higher rate hike in the future.

* Investors responded by embracing riskier assets. Global stocks hit a 6-week high and the dollar eased, helping the greenback metal by making it cheaper for buyers in other currencies.

* Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 1.1% to $7,722 a ton by 1022 GMT.

* Prices of the metal used in energy and construction have risen 11 percent from their lowest level in 20 months on July 15 at $6,955, but have fallen 20 percent this year.

* The short-term economic outlook remains bleak. Economic sentiment in the Eurozone has deteriorated sharply and Asian manufacturers have warned of a sharp slowdown in demand for smartphones, TVs and devices.

* However, WisdomTree analyst Nitesh Shah said copper supply will be limited and weak demand in China will improve thanks to the stimulus and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.

* The Financial Times reports that China will issue 1 trillion yuan ($148.2 billion) in loans for troubled real estate developments.

* Investors also expect China’s Politburo to meet in the coming days to unlock more spending on mineral-intensive infrastructure.

* Among other base metals, aluminum rose 1.3% to $2,455 a ton, zinc increased 2.8% to $3,139, and lead increased 0.3% to $2018. Nickel fell 0.6 percent to $21,675 a ton, and tin fell 0.2 percent to $24305.

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* To view updated base metal prices:

– copper

– Leadership

– TIN

– nickel

– aluminum

– zinc

(Reporting by Peter Hobson; Additional reporting by Cie Liu and Emily Chow; Editing in Spanish by Ricardo Figueroa)

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