Copper prices erased losses Friday, as the U.S. dollar gave up early gains, sparking interest in the metal from foreign buyers.
The most actively traded contract, for July delivery, closed flat at $2.9245 a pound on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. Prices hit $2.8955 earlier in the day, when the dollar was stronger.
The WSJ Dollar Index was recently down 0.1% at 84.13. Dollar-denominated copper futures become less expensive for buyers in other countries when the greenback falls against their home currencies.
However, copper prices remain hemmed in by lingering concerns about demand from China, the world’s top copper consumer. Recent economic data pointed to slower lending, industrial production and slower overall economic growth in China.
While Beijing has responded with various stimulus packages, including interest rate cuts and reductions to deposit requirements on property purchases, this hasn’t yet translated into greater demand for copper, said Charles Nedoss, a senior market strategist with LaSalle Futures in Chicago.
“All these Chinese stimulus packages keep coming out, but what’s it done for copper? They have a lot of stimulus out there, but they also have a lot of copper stockpiled there,” Mr. Nedoss said.