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Copper price in high

BUUMBA CHIMBULU writes

COPPER prices hit a four-week high on Tuesday, boosted by coronavirus-linked supply disruptions and expectations of stronger demand.

These prices were set for their biggest weekly gain in more than a year after signs that the spread of the coronavirus may be slowing lifted risk assets. l

Absa Bank Zambia has indicated that copper prices went up, although gains were capped by caution over the pace of an economic recovery.

“Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 2.9 percent at US$5,163 a tonne.

“Prices of the metal used by investors as gauge of economic health touched US$5,200 earlier, the highest level since March 17 2020,” Absa said.

Meanwhile, the Bank said the Zambian Kwacha took a turn against the greenback in yesterday’s trading session and reversed some of the gains posted last week.

The Bank explained that the market was characterised with demand for dollars from various sectors.

“The interbank was relatively active as circa $7mio was exchanged by the banks. At 08:30hrs, commercial banks in Lusaka quoted Zambian Kwacha at K18.20/18.25 per dollar to close 15 ngwee lower at K18.35/18.40 on the bid and offer respectively.

“In the near term, the local unit is anticipated to shade more of its gains in the absence of healthy dollar inflow,” Absa said.

Elsewhere, the South Africa’s rand gave back its early gains on Tuesday, sliding as much as one percent after the central bank delivered a surprise cut to lending rates to address the deepening economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The rand was 1.46 percent weaker at 18.3600 per dollar by having dipped as low as 18.4200 in the wake of the unexpected 100 basis points cut by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB).

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