METALS-Base metals lifted by Fed rate-cut outlook

Credit: REUTERS/MAX ROSSI

BEIJING, March 21 (Reuters) - Prices of most base metals rose on Thursday, amid upbeat sentiment as investors eyed interest rate cuts by the U.S. central bank this year.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) CMCU3 was up 1.3% to $9,044.50 per metric ton by 0143 GMT, while the most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) SCFcv1 climbed 0.5% to 73,010 yuan ($10,145) per ton.

The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady on Wednesday but still saw the rates falling at least three-quarters of a percentage point later this year despite recent high inflation readings.

That brightened the demand outlook for industrial metals.

The dollar index =USD drifted lower on Thursday, making it cheaper to buy the greenback-priced commodity.

LME aluminium CMAL3 was up 0.9% to $2,292.50 a ton, nickel CMNI3 increased 0.9% to $17,655, zinc CMZN3 rose 1.1% to $2,537, and lead CMPB3 gained 0.7% to $2,078.50, while tin CMSN3 increased 2.1% to $27,795.

Inventories of lead in warehouses registered with the London Metal Exchange surged 34% to the highest level in 11 years on Wednesday.

SHFE lead SPBcv1 eased 0.2% to 16,225 yuan, aluminium SAFcv1 climbed 0.8% to 19,405 yuan a ton, nickel SNIcv1 added 0.5% to 137,420 yuan, zinc SZNcv1 rose 0.8% to 21,350 yuan and tin SSNcv1 rose 0.7% to 226,330 yuan.

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($1 = 7.1962 Chinese yuan renminbi)

(Reporting by Siyi Liu and Mei Mei Chu; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)

((Siyi.Liu@thomsonreuters.com;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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