May 20 (Reuters) - London copper prices edged higher on
Friday, poised for their first weekly gain in seven, as optimism
over the easing of some COVID-19 restrictions in top consumer
China lifted demand prospects, while a pullback in the U.S.
dollar added support.
Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal
Exchange (LME) was up 0.2% at $9,438 a tonne, as of 0531 GMT,
after rising 2% in the previous session. The contract is up 3%
so far this week.
The most-active June copper contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange rose 0.7% to 71,880 yuan ($10,718.28) a tonne.
"China is planning to open its economy gradually and go for
easy lending, which is providing a positive impact on base
metals," Vandana Bharti, assistant vice-president of commodity
research at SMC Comtrade.
"Also the dollar index is gradually moving lower and helping
Shanghai authorities plans to end a prolonged city-wide
lockdown on June 1 appeared to remain on track, despite new
COVID-19 cases outside quarantine areas for the first time after
five days of no infections.
DOLLAR: The U.S. dollar headed for its worst week since
early February against major peers, making greenback-denominated
metals less expensive for buyers using other currencies.
SUPPORT: China lowered its benchmark reference rate for
mortgages for the second time this year, as Beijing is keen to
revive credit demand to prop up the economy.
DATA: Output of Shanghai's industries shrank 61.5% in April
from a year earlier, slammed by a city-wide COVID lockdown.
POLL: The U.S. Federal Reserve will lift interest rates
higher by the end of this year than anticipated just a month
ago, a Reuters poll of economists found.
COPPER: Peru's prime minister on Thursday failed to broker a
deal with indigenous communities to allow for the restart of
operations at MMG Ltd's Las Bambas copper mine.
OTHER METALS: LME aluminium gained 1.3% to $2,944.50
a tonne, zinc rose 0.5% to $3,733.50, lead
climbed 2.4% to $2,114, while tin eased 0.1% to $34,185.
Shanghai aluminium added 1.9%, zinc gained
1.1%, nickel rose 3.3%, lead gained 1.2%,
while tin climbed 2.5%.
($1 = 6.7063 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Brijesh Patel in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu
Sahu and Sherry Jacob-Phillips)