(Reuters) - Prices of most non-ferrous metals rose on Thursday on hopes for higher demand from top consumer China after it eased COVID-19 curbs and as the dollar weakened.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange rose 0.2% to $8,474 a tonne by 0607 GMT, while the most-traded January copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange edged up 0.4% at 66,140 yuan ($9,487.06) a tonne.
China on Wednesday announced the most sweeping changes to its strict anti-COVID-19 regime since the pandemic began three years ago, allowing infected people with mild symptoms to quarantine at home and dropping testing for people travelling domestically.
The U.S. dollar remained weak after sliding against major peers overnight for the first time this week as investors fretted about a potential recession in the United States.
A weak dollar makes greenback-priced metals cheaper for holders of other currencies.
China November copper imports were the highest for any month this year, signaling restocking by consumers ahead of easing of restrictions, an ANZ analyst said.
LME aluminium rose 0.1% to $2,489 a tonne, zinc increased 0.5% to $3,198.50 a tonne and tin was up 0.2% at $24,350 a tonne.
SHFE aluminium eased 0.4% to 19,180 yuan a tonne, zinc was up 0.1% to 24,780 yuan a tonne, lead eased 0.6% to 15,710 yuan a tonne and tin shed 1.2% to 194,860 yuan a tonne.
SHFE nickel jumped 4.1% to 217,600 yuan a tonne, tracking a surge in London prices in the previous session.
China's nickel buyers, the world's biggest purchasers of the metal, have asked producers to switch to SHFE contracts to price their supplies next year, sources told Reuters.
"Liquidity is going to be poor on the LME (if that happens), hence risk management - seeing the price rally - will naturally want to force customers to cut their short (positions)," a trader said.