METALS-London aluminium poised for worst month in over a decade on growth risks
Adds comments, details, updates prices
By Brijesh Patel
April 29 (Reuters) - London aluminium prices were set on Friday for their biggest monthly percentage drop in more than a decade, as COVID-19 lockdowns in China and prospects of aggressive U.S. rate hikes fuelled worries over a global economic slowdown.
Copper, used in power and construction and seen as a gauge for the health of the global economy, was headed for its worst month since last June.
Benchmark three-month copper CMCU3 on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 0.2% at $9,717 a tonne, as of 0245 GMT, after hitting its lowest since Feb. 1 on Thursday. The contract was down 6.3% for the month.
LME aluminium CMAL3 eased 0.1% to $3,028.50 a tonne and was set for its worst month since December 2008, down 13.2%.
"Investors are cautious amid the rising US dollar and the risk of slowing economic growth. COVID-19 mass testing in Shanghai and Beijing is disrupting economic activity, while liquidity tightening is another headwind for demand," commodity strategists at ANZ said in a note.
"Copper and aluminium erased their supply risk premium after the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This is despite copper mining challenges looming in Peru."
DOLLAR: Making greenback-denominated metals more expensive for buyers using other currencies, the dollar held firm at a 20-year high on Friday and was poised to score its best monthly gain in a decade. FRX/
FED: U.S. Federal Reserve officials have aligned around plans to accelerate the pace of interest rate hikes this year but remain split over what could be the make-or-break decision of where to stop to avoid dragging the economy into recession. nL2N2WQ1VA
GROWTH WORRIES: Data on Thursday showed the U.S. economy unexpectedly contracted in the first quarter amid a resurgence in COVID-19 cases and drop in pandemic relief money from the government. nL2N2WP2ZV
COVID-19: Beijing closed some schools and public spaces on Thursday, as most of the Chinese capital's 22 million residents turned up for more mass COVID-19 testing aimed at averting a Shanghai-like lockdown. nL2N2WQ086
COPPER: Peruvian police on Thursday carried out evictions for a second day at MMG's MMLTF Las Bambas copper mine, seeking to remove a remaining indigenous community that had camped inside company property in a protest. nL2N2WQ2A9
PRICES: LME zinc CMZN3 lost 0.4% to $4,119.50 a tonne, while lead CMPB3 gained 0.4% to $2,264.50 and tin CMSN3 added 0.1% to $40,085.
Shanghai copper SCFcv1 was flat, aluminium SAFcv1 eased 0.2%, zinc SZNcv1 was up 0.1%, nickel SNIcv1 climbed 0.5%, lead SPBcv1 gained 0.8%, while tin SSNcv1 rose 1.2%.
(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips and Vinay Dwivedi)
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