Copper price soars, then sours on LME

COPPER prices on the London Metal Exchange (LME) have continued to fluctuate with currently going down by US$71.00; this is according to Cavmont Bank Zambia daily market report.

Copper prices have weakened by more than 20 per cent over the past year mostly because of softer demand from China, Zambia’s biggest trading partner.

Zambia’s economic growth rate, which had averaged 7 per cent annually for the past five years, fell to an estimated 3.4 per cent last year.

According to the report, the prices for the red metal on Thursday suffered a setback of US$71.00, resulting in a tonne trading at US$4,578.00.

But in Wednesday’s trading session, the price went up by US$124.00.

According to the bank report, a tonne of the red metal was as of Wednesday trading at US$4,649.00.

In other trades, a barrel of Brent crude oil was trading at US$48.33; this was after the price went down by US$0.48.

Gold, however, registered an increase of US$22.83, thereby making an ounce trade at US$1,306.48.

Meanwhile, the Kwacha failed to maintain its firm stance against the dollar as it breached the K10.900/$1 psychological barrier following a pickup in dollar demand from importers.

The local currency opened the day at K10.860 / K10.910 on Interbank in early trade but was the afternoon being quoted at K10.880 / K10.930.

According to Cavmont, the Kwacha closed at K10.890 / K10.940, K0.03 weaker than its opening levels.

On the money market, commercial banks’ aggregate current account balance decreased by K254.82 million to K465.69 million while the overnight borrowing and lending rate decreased by 0.02 percent to 17.73 percent.

Total funds traded on Interbank were K429.75 million.

And the bank further reported that the Central Bank continued conducting open market operations (OMO) and was looking to reduce market liquidity further by K300 million.

The accepted rate was 14 percent.