LONDON, Jun. 24 -- Base metals on the London Metal Exchange ended higher Thursday on better-than-expected U.S economic data and stronger consumer demand.
U.S. durable goods orders excluding civilian aircraft rose more than expected in May, while weekly U.S. jobless figures showed fewer new unemployment claims.
The data came as a relief to markets after Monday's record-low U.S. new home sales figures.
Copper rallied to a day-high and closed up 2.7%. Zinc and tin also made strong gains, ending up 2.5% and 1.9% respectively.
"Durable goods orders were better-than-expected and the jobless claims weren't so bad," said a senior metals trader at a brokerage in London, adding consumer buying also gave copper a lift.
"Demand is quite good," he said. "In China it is leveling off, [but] in Europe it's quite good."
The euro strengthened against the dollar on the U.S. data, and the metals followed higher, as the correlation between the two reasserted itself.
"We have been tracking the euro most of the afternoon," said a senior metals trader in London.
He said the metals appear to be consolidating near current ranges, particularly copper.
"It looks as though maybe positions are being turned around," he said, adding shorts appeared to be closing out positions and new long positions were being established.