Copper prices rose overnight as risk appetite gained the upper hand in financial markets after promising trials of a COVID-19 treatment and strong US economic data.
The World Health Organisation moved to update guidelines regarding a cheap, common steroid that can help to save critically ill patients, while data showed that US retail sales increased in May by the most on record.
“Yes, of course there are definitely signs of hope, giving the potential of still higher prices, but there are many risks out there that are being completely ignored,” said Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann.
“I think the high prices are not justified, but given the good mood of the market, which is also evident in sharply rising share markets, prices will find it difficult to come down significantly.”
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) was up 0.7 per cent at $US5,769 by 1600 GMT.
LME copper touched a 4-1/2 month high last week after rebounding about 30 per cent from March lows.
Limiting the upside was news that Chinese capital Beijing has extended curbs on movement to contain a coronavirus outbreak that has fanned fears of wider contagion.
The Chinese copper premium for physical metal at Yangshan rose to $US91.50 a tonne, rebounding from a two-month low of $US80 last week, according to Shanghai Metals Market.
LME cash aluminium’s discount to the three-month contract had declined to $US20.50 a tonne by Tuesday’s close, its weakest in three months, indicating tighter availability of metal in LME warehouses.
The world’s largest tin producer, PT Timah, is targeting refined tin sales of about 55,000 tonnes in 2020, down from 2019 sales of 67,704 tonnes.
LME tin slipped 0.1 per cent to $US16,910 a tonne.
Lead gained 1.8 per cent to its highest since March 13 at $US1,793 a tonne, zinc climbed 1.1 per cent to $US2,017.50, aluminium rose 0.5 per cent to $US1,605.50 and nickel shed 1.3 per cent to $US12,855.