Copper prices rose on Monday as stronger manufacturing data from top consumer China and loosening of lockdowns to contain the new coronavirus stoked expectations of healthier demand prospects.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange was up 0.7% at $5,415 a tonne at 0853 GMT.
Prices of the metal used widely in the power and construction industries earlier touched $5,457.50 a tonne, close to the 10-week high of $5,464 seen on May 21.
“Barring the tail risks of a second wave, we seem to be past the trough, but it is a gradual grind upwards,” said Capital Economics analyst Kieran Clancy.
“Clearly though there is some permanent damage from the first few months of the year, stocks have built up and we expect metal prices to end the year below where we started.”
STORY CONTINUES BELOW
INDUSTRY: A private business survey showed China’s factory activity unexpectedly returned to growth in May, while a similar survey for larger Chinese firms showed rising activity in the services and construction sectors.
However, both surveys showed export orders shrank.
TECHNICALS: Copper has breached the 100-day moving average at $5,442. Traders say stronger momentum is needed for an attempt at the upside and resistance at the $5,590 Fibonacci retracement level.
INVENTORIES: Stocks of copper in LME registered warehouses at 255,725 tonnes are double the levels seen in the middle of January.
Sliding tin stocks in LME warehouses, at a one-year low of 2,455 tonnes, and large holdings of warrants and cash contracts are behind the elevated premium for the cash over the three-month contract.
The premium hit a one-year high above $190 a tonne in May and was last at $97 a tonne.
Three-month tin was up 0.8% at $15,530.
OTHER METALS: Aluminium was down 0.7% at $1,537 a tonne, zinc was little changed at $1,987, lead slipped 0.8% to $1,660 and nickel added 1.3% to $12,490. (Reporting by Mai Nguyen; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi and Mark Potter)