HANOI, June 30 (Reuters) - Copper prices rose on Wednesday, but were set for their smallest quarterly gain since March 2020 on pressure from a firm dollar and top consumer China’s efforts to tame a red-hot metals rally.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.4% to $9,375 a tonne by 0342 GMT and was up 6.7% for the quarter. It has lost 8.6% so far in June, on track for its first monthly fall in three.
The most-traded August copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange rose 0.2% to 68,420 yuan a tonne, also set for the weakest quarterly gain since March 2020 when China’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic aided metals prices.
Copper prices have pulled back in recent weeks after hitting a record high in May on the back of a global economic recovery, rising investments into renewable energy and electric vehicles, as well as a tight supply outlook.
Some of the pressure has come from China, with the world’s second-largest economy releasing state reserves of copper, aluminium and zinc as part of its pledge to control a recent surge in commodities prices.
Strength in the dollar on expectations of sooner-than-anticipated policy tightening in the United States has also made greenback-priced metals more expensive and less appealing to holders of other currencies.
* Global demand of nickel used in batteries is expected to rise 18% this year from 2020, backed by strong sales of electric-vehicles in China, Sumitomo Metal Mining, Japan’s biggest nickel smelter, said.
* LME nickel fell 0.4% to $18,280 a tonne, while lead rose 0.4% to $2,314 a tonne. ShFE lead jumped 3.2% to 15,875 yuan a tonne while ShFe aluminium declined 0.5% to 18,770 yuan a tonne.
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* Asian shares rose and a gauge of global equities hovered near record highs after rising consumer confidence in economic recovery boosted the Nasdaq index to a record close.
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Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Aditya Soni