Copper ticks lower on firm dollar, China worries

Copper prices slipped on Tuesday

  

LONDON- Copper prices slipped on Tuesday on a stronger dollar and concern about the impact of power cuts in top metals consumer China, where the economy has already been weakening.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 1.1% to $9,258 in official trading after rising by 0.3% on Monday.

Copper has eased from a record peak of $10,747.50 touched in May, but it is still up 20% so far this year.

"We have the risk of a sudden spike in the dollar, which will weigh on the market," said Gianclaudio Torlizzi, partner at consultancy T-Commodity in Milan.

"And we have a worsening situation in China due to a double shock - the credit crunch from Evergrande and a shock coming from the energy crisis. It's a very tricky market to trade so I think a lot of people will stay on the sidelines."

In China, a shortage of coal supplies, toughening emissions standards and strong demand from manufacturers and industry have pushed coal prices to record highs and triggered widespread curbs on usage. 

The U.S. dollar rose to its highest in more than five weeks due to rising bond yields, making metals priced in dollars more expensive for buyers using other currencies. 

* Profit growth at China's industrial firms slowed for a sixth month as plants fought off high commodity prices, COVID-19 outbreaks and part shortages. 

* LME nickel was the biggest loser, sliding 2% to $18,570 after shedding more than 2% on Monday. "The power curtailment policy affects part of the downstream consumption of nickel," brokerage Huatai Futures said in a note.

* LME tin bounced by 0.7% to $35,340 a tonne, having tumbled more than 4% on Monday after power usage curbs in China also cut demand for refined tin. 

* LME aluminium gained 1% to $2,911, zinc added 0.2% to $3,073 and lead climbed 0.6% to $2,175.

(Additional reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi and Tom Daly; editing by David Evans) ((eric.onstad@thomsonreuters.com; +44 20 7542 7093; Twitter https://twitter.com/reutersEricO; Reuters Messaging: eric.onstad.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))


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