(Recasts, updates prices, adds comments)
By Siyi Liu and Dominique Patton
BEIJING, Nov 25 (Reuters) – Prices of copper ticked 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 0445 GMT on the day, and barely changed from the $8,076-a-tonne closing price last Friday.
The most-traded December copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange moved up 0.4% to 65,240 yuan($9,113.64) 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 0.9% to $2,389 a tonne, zinc rose 0.6% to $2,936 a tonne, while lead moved down 0.4% to $2,122.5 a tonne.
SHFE aluminium dipped 0.3% to 18,925 yuan a tonne, zinc gained 0.5% to 23,820 yuan a tonne, tin added 0.8% to 183,720 yuan a tonne, and nickel was up 0.5% at 200,160 yuan a tonne.
For the top stories in metals and other news, click or ($1 = 7.1585 yuan) (Reporting by Siyi Liu and Dominique Patton; Editing by William Mallard and Savio D’Souza)
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