1014 GMT – Copper prices are set to rise marginally this year, capped by weaker demand, a decline in U.S. dollar strength as well as supply constraints, analysts at BMI say in a research note. Prices are expected to average $8,800 a metric ton in 2024, above current levels of around $8,410 and the 2023 average of $8,523, according to the research firm. China’s expansion capacity should foster production growth this year but supply issues in Panama could leave the market tight, the analysts say. On the consumption side, demand weakness in Mainland China could limit growth this year, but the green-energy transition is expected to be a strong driver over the rest of the decade. (giulia.petroni@wsj.com)

Metals Higher Ahead of U.S. Inflation Data 

0844 GMT – Metal prices are trading higher ahead of U.S. inflation data. Three-month copper is 0.5% higher at $8,434 a metric ton, while aluminum is 0.5% higher at $2,246 a ton. Gold is up 0.5% at $2,037.50 a troy ounce. “For today’s CPI inflation data, the market expects CPI to drift higher to 3.2% year-on-year versus 3.1% last month,” analysts at Peak Trading Research say in a note. “A weaker inflation print would point to a dovish Fed, lower U.S. interest rates, and a weaker U.S. dollar.” (giulia.petroni@wsj.com)

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