Metals News
Copper Rises for a Third Day in London on Chinese Manufacturing
smm insight
Dec 7,2009

LONDON, Dec. 2 -- Copper rose for a third day in London as manufacturing in China, the world's biggest user, expanded at the fastest pace in five years and the dollar slid further.

    A purchasing managers' index released by HSBC Holdings Plc rose to a seasonally adjusted 55.7 last month from 55.4. Prices also gained before a report that may show manufacturing in the U.S., the second-largest copper consumer, increased for a fourth month in November. The U.S. Dollar Index, which measures the greenback's value against six currencies, fell for a second day.

    "If we had doubts why the Chinese were buying commodities, we shouldn't any longer," John Meyer, head of research at Fairfax IS in London, said by phone. "It is fundamentally good news for commodities."

    Copper for three-month delivery rose $90, or 1.3 percent, to $7,020 a metric ton on the London Metal Exchange at 10:07 a.m. local time. The metal has advanced 2.4 percent this week. Copper for March delivery climbed 1 percent to $3.2085 a pound on the New York Mercantile Exchange's Comex division.

    The dollar index lost as much as 0.5 percent, making metals priced in the currency cheaper in terms of other monies. The gauge has slid 8.3 percent this year, helping copper to more than double along with record first-half imports into China and expectations of a rebound from the global recession.

    Dubai Debt Talks

    Prices also rose as Dubai began talks with banks to restructure its debt, helping to ease concern about a potential default that sent financial markets lower at the end of last week. Three-month copper slid the most in almost four weeks on Nov. 26.

    "The debt issues in Dubai are not a secret," Fairfax's Meyer said, adding that investors were not "overly concerned."

    The U.S. Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing index fell to 55 from October's three-year high of 55.7, according to the median forecast of 72 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The figures are due at 3 p.m. London time.

    Inventories of copper monitored by the LME climbed for a 21st day, gaining 0.6 percent to 441,000 tons, according to a daily exchange report. That was the highest since April 22.

    Among other LME metals for three-month delivery, aluminum rose 1.3 percent to $2,085 a ton. Demand for the lightweight metal in China, the biggest consumer, probably will rise next year, Jorge Vazquez, an analyst at Laredo, Texas-based researcher Harbor Intelligence, said in an e-mailed report.

    China's total net imports of aluminum are expected to rise above 4 million tons next year from an estimated 3.9 million tons this year when scrap is included, he said. Net imports of so-called primary metal probably will drop to 1.2 million tons from an estimated 1.4 million tons this year, he said.

    Nickel was little changed at $16,395 a ton. Stockpiles in LME-monitored warehouses climbed 2.5 percent to 140,646 tons, the highest since January 1995.

    Lead gained 2.1 percent to $2,395 a ton, and zinc advanced 1 percent to $2,344 a ton. Tin fell 0.7 percent to $15,100 a ton.

    (Source: Bloomberg)


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