METALS-Copper ticks higher as new virus variant fears abate

BY Reuters | ECONOMIC | 11/29/21 10:19 PM EST

Nov 30 (Reuters) - London copper edged higher on Tuesday, supported by risk-on sentiment as fears of the new COVID-19 variant affecting global recovery receded.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.1% to $9,585 a tonne by 0250 GMT. The most-traded January copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange was up 0.1% at 69,940 yuan a tonne.

U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday said the world's biggest economy would not return to lockdowns to stop the spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant, and he would lay out his strategy on Thursday for combating the pandemic over the winter.

Prices were also buoyed by a softer dollar, which makes greenback-priced commodities less expensive to buyers holding other currencies.

Meanwhile, cash premium over the three-month contract eased to $85 a tonne, indicating that the tightness in nearby supplies has eased.

FUNDAMENTALS

* China's factory activity unexpectedly picked up in November, growing for the first time in three months as raw material prices fell and power rationing abated, taking some pressure off a manufacturing sector grappling with soft demand.

* LME aluminium inched 0.1% lower to $2,627 a tonne, nickel eased 0.3% to $20,075 a tonne and lead traded 1.1% higher at $2,294.5.

* ShFE aluminium rose 0.3% to 18,920 yuan a tonne, nickel was down 0.2% at 148,120 yuan a tonne, lead fell 0.2% to 15,355 yuan a tonne. Zinc gained 0.2% to 22,900 yuan a tonne and was on track to record its best monthly performance in four.

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MARKETS NEWS

* Asian share markets were trading in positive territory on Tuesday as investors became cautiously optimistic that the new Omicron variant might not cause a widespread global economic disruption to worsen the pandemic.

* The dollar hovered above the one-week low against major peers it hit last week, as fears eased that the new Omicron coronavirus variant would derail the U.S. recovery and delay Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.

DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

0745 France GDP QQ Final Q3

0745 France CPI (EU norm) Prelim YY Nov

0855 Germany Unemployment Change, Rate SA Nov

1000 EU HICP Flash YY, HICP-X F&E Flash YY Nov

1500 US Consumer Confidence Nov

1500 US Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen testify

before a Senate Banking Committee hybrid

hearing. ($1 = 6.3846 yuan)

(Reporting by Eileen Soreng in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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