METALS-Copper near two-week low as yuan weakens

Credit: REUTERS/Alexander Manzyuk

March 26 (Reuters) - Most base metals fell on Tuesday, with copper prices in London falling to their lowest levels in nearly two weeks, on a weaker Chinese yuan.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) CMCU3 fell 0.4% to $8,834 per metric ton by 0448 GMT. The contract dropped as much as 0.7% earlier in the session to $8,810, the lowest since March 13.

The most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange (SHFE) SCFcv1 declined 0.8% to 71,890 yuan ($9,960.8) a ton. It hit as low as 71,720 yuan earlier in the session, the lowest since March 15.

The China's yuan eased against the dollar due to expectations that easier monetary policy at home and a strengthening dollar will lead to more weakness in the Chinese currency.

China is the world's biggest metals consumer and imports many metals, so a weakness in the yuan softens Chinese purchasing power for greenback-priced commodities.

Copper was also pressured by rising inventories in the warehouses approved by the LME MCUSTX-TOTAL, which were last at 117,900 tons, the highest since Feb. 29.

The discount of LME cash copper to the three-month contract MCU0-3 expanded to $115.37 a ton on Monday, the biggest discount since at least 1982, data on LSEG Eikon showed, indicating abundant near-term supply.

LME aluminium CMAL3 eased 0.3% to $2,318 a ton, nickel CMNI3 edged down 0.5% at $16,860, zinc CMZN3 lost 0.4% to $2,485.50, lead CMPB3 fell 0.2% to $2,030, and tin CMSN3 declined 0.4% to $27,475.

SHFE nickel SNIcv1 shed 2.1% to 131,760 yuan a ton, zinc SZNcv1 fell 0.4% to 21,120 yuan, lead SPBcv1 eased 0.4% to 16,175 yuan, tin SSNcv1 dropped 2% to 222,440 yuan while aluminium SAFcv1 rose 0.3% to 19,535 yuan.

LME tin inventories MSNSTX-TOTAl dropped to 4,865 tons, the lowest since July 2023.

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TOP/MTL or MET/L DATA/EVENTS (GMT)

1200 Brazil IPCA-15 Mid-month CPI March

1230 US Durable Goods Feb

1400 US Consumer Confidence March

($1 = 7.2173 yuan)

(Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Mrigank Dhaniwala)

((mai.nguyen@thomsonreuters.com; Reuters Messaging: mai.nguyen.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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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