Oil, copper jump on China easing, Greece hopes


20/02/2012 09:07 AST  Guardian.co.uk

Oil jumped to multi-month highs and copper rebounded on Monday, as investors flocked to riskier assets after China's first bank reserve requirement cut for this year spurred hopes for improved liquidity in the world's top importer of most commodities.

Commodities also tracked euro's gains as the dollar weakened on expectations euro zone finance ministers will approve a second bailout for Greece later in the day.

Oil also got a lift from news that Iran has halted crude exports to Britain and France although the move was largely symbolic as Tehran did not export much to UK and French firms.

The key driver was China's Saturday announcement that it would cut the amount of cash banks need to park with the central bank in a bid to boost lending, joining global counterparts in stimulating economic growth.

The 50-basis point cut, which will free up between 350-400 billion yuan ($55.6-$63.5 billion) in additional liquidity, was the second reduction in Chinese banks' reserve requirement ratio (RRR) since November and takes effect on Feb. 24.

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