METALS-Copper rises on weaker dollar, market fundamentals; China weighs

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(Updates prices)

BEIJING, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Prices of copper edged up on Friday, supported by a weaker U.S. dollar, though they were set to end the week little changed as investors weighed up tight market fundamentals against China’s COVID-19 outbreaks.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.4% at $8,075 a tonne by 0728 GMT, and barely changed from the $8,036-a-tonne closing price last Friday.

The most-traded December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange moved up 0.5% to 65,290 yuan($9,123.68) a tonne.

The dollar stood close to a three-month low and was on track for a weekly loss on Friday, as the prospect of the Federal Reserve slowing U.S. interest rate increases as soon as December dominated investors’ minds and kept the mood buoyant.

A weaker U.S. currency supports metals prices by making it cheaper for non-dollar holders to buy greenback-priced commodities.

Still, China on Friday reported another record high of daily COVID-19 infections, with cities across the country enforcing measures and curbs to control outbreaks.

The worsening outbreak exacerbated the markets’ worries, a Chinese copper trader said. “That’s why prices are struggling to get a boost from the current tight supply and demand.”

The world’s refined copper market showed a 10,000 tonne deficit in September, compared with 13,000 tonnes in August, according to the International Copper Study Group (ICSG).

The global copper market could accumulate a large deficit of almost eight million tonnes in a decade as soaring demand will outweigh new projects, the head of Chile’s state-owned Codelco, the world’s largest producer of the metal, said on Thursday.

Among other metals, LME aluminium advanced 0.4% to $2,377 a tonne, zinc rose 0.6% to $2,936 a tonne, while lead moved down 0.3% to $2,124.5 a tonne.

SHFE aluminium dipped 0.3% to 18,925 yuan a tonne, zinc gained 0.5% to 23,825 yuan a tonne, tin added 1.1% to 184,270 yuan a tonne, and nickel was up 0.2% at 199,620 yuan a tonne.

For the top stories in metals and other news, click or ($1 = 7.1561 Chinese yuan renminbi) (Reporting by Siyi Liu and Dominique Patton; Editing by William Mallard, Savio D’Souza and Rashmi Aich)