(Reuters) - Copper prices advanced on Tuesday as hopes grew that demand will rebound in top consumer China after more cities eased COVID-19 restrictions.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.5% to $8,432.50 a tonne by 0314 GMT, while the most-traded January copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange edged down 0.5% to 65,910 yuan ($9,456.78) a tonne.
China's capital Beijing dropped the need for people to show negative COVID tests to enter supermarkets and offices, the latest in an easing of curbs across the country following last month's historic protests.
The country may announce 10 new COVID-easing measures as early as Wednesday, sources said, supplementing the 20 unveiled in November that set off a wave of relaxations nationwide.
However, gains in copper prices were limited on signs of weakening demand for imported copper into China, with Yangshan copper premium falling to its lowest since July 22 at $72.50 a tonne on Monday.
Withdrawals of copper inventories have also been slowing across the LME, SHFE and Chinese bonded warehouses. SHFE copper inventories were at 65,226 tonnes on Friday, more than double the level seen at the end of September.
A steady dollar also capped the gains in copper prices. A stronger dollar makes greenback-priced commodities expensive to holders of other currencies.
LME aluminium fell 0.3% to $2,516 a tonne, zinc eased 0.2% to $3,121 a tonne, lead was down 0.5% at $2,227.50 a tonne and tin dropped 1% to $24,200 a tonne.
SHFE nickel rose 1% to 206,870 yuan a tonne, tin jumped 2.5% to 195,030 yuan a tonne, lead edged up 0.2% to 15,960 yuan a tonne and aluminium fell 0.5% to 19,185 yuan a tonne.