The copper price retreated on Thursday after a three-day advance as the dollar firmed, omicron fears subsided and attention turned to the unwinding of US monetary stimulus.
March delivery contracts were exchanging hands for $4.31 a pound ($9,482 a tonne) by midday on the Comex market in New York, down 1.8% compared to Wednesday's closing.
"While prices for the metal were supported by low inventories, there was pressure from cooling growth in top consumer China and the tightening of US monetary policy," said Concord House analyst Duncan Hobbs.
"There is a continuation of a tug of war between the bullish and bearish factors," he said.
Prices are up 20% this year while a wider index of industrial metals is up nearly 30%.
On-warrant LME-registered stocks rose to a one-month high of 76,250 tonnes. However, that is down 69% from an August high of 238,725 tonnes and down nearly a quarter this year.
Related: Copper price rises while Commerzbank sees setback in 2022
(With files from Reuters)