The copper price rose on Friday as low inventories and hopes for economic recovery next year offset a slackening in near-term demand in China caused by a surge in covid-19 cases.
Copper for delivery in March rose 1.6% on the Comex market in New York, touching $3.81 per pound or $8,382 per tonne.
While some analysts expect the metal to rise towards record highs of $11,000 in 2023, weakening economic growth has pulled prices down 14% this year.
“Demand is not there,” said Robert Montefusco at broker Sucden Financial.
Copper could move higher in early 2023 but this would require more economic stimulus in China — the top consumer — and an improvement of sentiment on wider markets, he said.
China expects a peak in covid-19 infections within a week, a health official said, as authorities predict extra strain on the health system and the virus ripples through business.
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