Copper eases on firm dollar, rising inventories

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Oct 2 (Reuters) -Copper prices kicked off the last quarter of 2023 with a fall on Monday, extending a declining trend in the last two quarters, as a firm dollar and higher inventories weighed on prices.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange CMCU3 fell 0.1% to $8,261.50 per metric ton by 0508 GMT, nickel CMNI3 rose 0.1% to $18,715, lead CMPB3 advanced 0.3% to $2,177.50 and zinc CMZN3 fell 0.3% to $2,641, while both aluminium CMAL3 and tin CMSN3 were flat.

The dollar was firm as the prospect of higher-for-longer U.S. interest rates provided solid support, making greenback-priced metals more expensive to holders of other currencies.

The Chinese market is shut for public holidays until Oct. 8, so demand was tepid, while supply pressure is climbing.

Meanwhile, inventories of copper in LME-registered warehouses MCUSTX-TOTAL have surged 141% in the past three months to 167,825 tons, the highest since May last year.

Copper output in Chile, the world's largest producer of the red metal, rose 2.7% year-on-year in August to 434,206 tons.

Nickel inventories continue to climb in LME warehouses and were last at 42,228 tons, the highest since April 3. Tin and lead stocks have also been rising in LME warehouses.

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Reporting by Mai Nguyen in Hanoi; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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