Copper eases as dollar firms on U.S. inflation fears


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HANOI — Copper prices fell on Monday as the dollar strengthened on worries over inflation in the United States that could lead to sooner-than-expected policy tightening.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was down 0.6% at $9,354.50 a tonne by 0220 GMT, while the most-traded August copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange declined 0.9% to 68,280 yuan a tonne.

The dollar held firm after slightly softer-than-expected U.S. inflation did little to chip away investors’ conviction that the Federal Reserve could tighten monetary policy if consumer price pressures continue to intensify.

A stronger dollar makes greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies.

FUNDAMENTALS

* Profit growth at China’s industrial firms slowed again in May as surging raw material prices squeezed margins and weighed on factory activity.

* ShFE nickel inventories dropped to a record low of 6,106 tonnes, while LME nickel stockpiles declined to their lowest level since July 2020 at 234,576 tonnes.

* Tin inventories in ShFE warehouses fell to their lowest since October 2020 at 3,418 tonnes.

* LME nickel fell 0.8% to $18,380 a tonne, aluminum declined 0.5% to $2,472.50 a tonne and lead decreased 0.9% to $2,200 a tonne.

* ShFE aluminum edged up 0.2% to 18,855 yuan a tonne, lead dropped 1.7% to 15,335 yuan a tonne, zinc shed 0.6% at 21,780 yuan a tonne and nickel declined 0.2% to 137,330 yuan a tonne.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares got the week off to a cautious start, with Chinese markets holding steady, as a spike in coronavirus cases across the region over the weekend hurt investor sentiment while oil hovered around 2-1/2 year highs.

DATA/EVENTS

No major data/events expected on Monday.

(Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)



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