Copper dips on worries of Chinese price curbs

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HANOI — Copper eased on Thursday as worries of price controls resurfaced after Chinese authorities vouched to keep a tab on surging commodity costs.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange fell 0.3% to $9,949 a tonne by 0235 GMT, while the most-traded July copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange dipped 0.2% to 71,480 yuan ($11,200.08) a tonne.

China’s state planner on Wednesday renewed its pledge to step up monitoring of commodity prices and strengthen supervision of spot and futures markets, as domestic producer inflation hit its highest in more than 12 years.

China is the world’s biggest consumer of metals.

FUNDAMENTALS

* LME aluminum fell 0.5% to $2,446 a tonne, while nickel advanced 0.2% to $18,160 a tonne. In Shanghai, aluminum rose 0.7% to 18,505 yuan a tonne, nickel increased 0.7% to 132,830 yuan a tonne, while lead rose 1.3% to 15,465 yuan a tonne.

* Malaysia Smelting Corporation Bhd, the world’s third-biggest refined tin maker, said on Wednesday it had declared force majeure on its deliveries to customers because of coronavirus-related disruptions to production.

* The premium of LME cash aluminum and the three-month contract rose to $11.80 a tonne, its biggest since December 2019, indicating tightening supply of nearby contracts.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian shares edged higher but held their recent trading range as investors focused on U.S. inflation data and the risk of an upside surprise that could prompt the Federal Reserve to start tapering its massive stimulus.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

1145 EU ECB Refinancing Rate June

1145 EU ECB Deposit Rate June

1230 US CPI MM, SA May

1230 US Initial Jobless Clm Weekly

1600 US Federal Reserve issues quarterly financial

accounts of the United States

($1 = 6.3821 yuan) (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)