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Copper Slips; Set for Best Monthly Gain Since 2016

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HANOI, Feb 26 Reuters Copper prices fell on Friday, as a weeklong rally in base metals ran out of steam, but the metal was on track for its best month since 2016 on low inventories and a bright demand outlook.

Threemonth copper contract on the London Metal Exchange was down 2 at 9,223.50 a tonne by 0522 GMT. It, however, gained 17.4 so far in February, set for its best month since November 2016.

On Thursday, LME copper hit its highest since August 2011 of 9,617 a tonne, only 5.6 below its record high level of 10,190 marked in February 2011.

The mosttraded April copper contract on the Shanghai Futures Exchange declined 0.8 to 68,820 yuan 10,636.13 a tonne, but it was also set for its best monthly gain since November 2016.

Investor sentiment towards base metals particularly towards green transition metals such as copper, nickel and lithium remains very positive for now, which is likely to push prices even higher in the near term, Fitch Solutions said in a note.

However, we believe that base metal prices will soon peak and ease later in the year. The current rally in prices is being driven by overly bullish sentiment towards the COVID19 demand recovery and decarbonisation trends, and we believe a more nuanced fundamental picture will emerge in the coming quarters.

LME aluminium fell 2 to 2,191.50 a tonne, zinc declined 1.7 to 2,840 a tonne and tin dropped 3.3 to 25,950 a tonne.

ShFE nickel shed 2.3 to 141,700 yuan a tonne and ShFE tin tumbled 4.1 to 185,170 yuan…

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