METALS-Base metals rise on hopes of China further easing COVID rules

Sept 20 (Reuters)Base metal prices broadly rose on Tuesday, supported by expectations that top consumer China would ease COVID-19 curbs further, but trading volumes were tepid amid caution about U.S. monetary tightening.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 advanced 1.1% to $7,835.50 a tonne by 0327 GMT, and the most-traded October copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange SCFcv1 increased 0.4% to 62,840 yuan ($8,967.15) a tonne.

LME zinc CMZN3 rose 1% to $3,173 a tonne, aluminium CMAL3 was up 0.8% at $2,268 a tonne and ShFE nickel SNIcv1 increased 1.9% to 196,990 yuan a tonne while ShFE aluminium SAFcv1 fell 0.4% to 18,770 yuan a tonne.

China is starting to ease strict COVID-19 regulations that had hurt economic growth and metals demand in the country.

Local authorities of the southwestern Chinese city of Chengdu on Sunday announced plans to resume production and life “in an orderly manner” from Monday following more than two weeks of lockdowns and other strict curbs.

Hong Kong, which takes its cues from China’s COVID-19 policy, is also expected to move toward an orderly reopening in a bid to keep the city connected with the rest of the world.

However, metals trading sentiment was cautious ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting later in the day, amid a busy week for global central bank meetings.

The U.S. central bank is expected to hike rates aggressively in an effort to curb inflation, which in turn would strengthen the dollar and make greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies.

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1230 US Housing Starts Number Aug

— US The Federal Reserve’s Federal Open Market

Committee starts its two-day meeting on

interest rates (to Sep 21)

($1 = 7.0078 yuan)

(Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Devika Syamnath)

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