London copper rises as Omicron concerns ease

Dec 1 (Reuters) – Copper prices rebounded on Wednesday on easing concerns about the new Omicron coronavirus variant that has rattled market sentiment in recent days.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 1.1% to $9,545 a tonne by 0701 GMT, having lost 0.6% in November.

The most-traded January copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange closed 0.3% lower at 69,650 yuan ($10,943.00) a tonne, tracking overnight loss in London.

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The European Union drug regulator said on Tuesday existing COVID-19 vaccines would provide protection against Omicron, calming markets shaken by drugmaker Moderna’s Chief Executive Officer saying existing shots would be less effective against the new variant. read more

“The market was too short. That (Omicron) is really nothing,” a Hong Kong-based trader said.

Copper prices have been supported by low exchange warehouses supply. LME inventories fell to 76,450 tonnes, the lowest since March 3, while ShFE stockpiles still hovered near their lowest since June 2009.

* A spokesperson for Canadian miner Turquoise Hill (TRQ.TO), majority owned by Rio Tinto (RIO.L), (RIO.AX), said trucks were still being used to ship copper concentrate to China from the Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia, meaning supply is unaffected by recent curbs on rail imports at some Chinese border cities. read more

* LME cash aluminium was traded at a $9.80-a-tonne premium over the three-month contract , indicating tight nearby supplies, as LME aluminium stocks fell to 900,975 tonnes, their lowest since September 2019, with most inventories leaving warehouses in Malaysia.

* LME aluminium rose 0.6% to $2,641 a tonne, nickel advanced 1.4% to $20,165 a tonne and lead increased 0.6% to $2,289.50 a tonne.

* ShFE aluminium rose 0.7% to 19,120 yuan a tonne, zinc was up 0.5% to 23,025 yuan a tonne while ShFE tin edged up 0.2% at 287,800 yuan a tonne.

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($1 = 6.3648 yuan)

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Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Additional reporting by Tom Daly; Editing by Rashmi Aich

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.