Aug 31, 2011 LONDON (Dow Jones)--Base metals closed higher on the London Metal Exchange after a relatively quiet and cautious day of trading, with investors eyeing key manufacturing and labor data in the sessions ahead.
LME three-month copper ended the session up 1.2% at $9,274 a metric ton. LME three-month aluminum closed 1.9% higher at $2,469/ton.
The markets rose as equity markets rallied, recovering some of their sharp losses recorded earlier this month.
Sucden Financial said sentiment was boosted by better-than-expected U.S. factory orders data, which was largely driven by solid demand from the auto and aircraft sectors.
"Copper prices have continued to rise on the perception that the recent decline in equities and risk appetite has been overdone and that demand will soon pick up," said CMC Markets analyst Michael Hewson.
Market participants say investors are now keenly awaiting the release of China's August manufacturing data Thursday, followed by the closely-watched U.S. nonfarm payrolls figures Friday.
"A breakthrough $9,300/ton [for copper] on the back of a good manufacturing data, combined with the fact that the speculative market is largely neutral, could see copper extend its gains. However, we note that our view on base metals remain unchanged: fundamentally upside for metals remains capped," said Standard Bank analyst Walter de Wet.
Prices in dollar a metric ton.
3 Months Metal Bid-Ask Change from
Tuesday PM kerb
Copper 9274.0-9275.0 Up 114
Lead 2578.0-2580.0 Up 20
Zinc 2291.5-2292.0 Up 7
Aluminum 2469.0-2470.0 Up 45
Nickel 22200.0-22225.0 Up 295
Tin 24400.0-24450.0 Up 395
Aluminum Alloy 2358.0-2359.0 Up 29
Aluminum Alloy-NASAAC 2460.0-2480.0 Up 25