METALS-Copper rallies on hopes for U.S. fiscal fix, weak dollar
* Markets optimistic on U.S. fiscal cliff progress * Euro zone likely to give tentative go ahead for Greek aid * U.S. home resales climb in October By Maytaal Angel and Harpreet Bhal LONDON, Nov 19 (Reuters) - Copper rose on Monday to its highest price in more than two weeks as upbeat U.S. housing data and signs lawmakers there would avert a looming fiscal crisis encouraged expectations of economic growth and higher metals demand. Also helping metals climb was a fall in the dollar to a near two-week low against the euro, following news that euro zone finance ministers will give a tentative go-ahead for the disbursement of 44 billion euros in emergency loans to Greece. Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange ended at $7,803 a tonne, up 2.6 percent from Friday's close of $7,605. It earlier climbed to its highest level since November 2 at $7,807, and posted its biggest one-day percentage gain since mid September when the U.S. Federal Reserve announced further quantitative easing measures. Other metals also rallied, with benchmark nickel touching its highest since the beginning of November and tin hitting their highest levels in nearly two weeks. Leading U.S. lawmakers expressed confidence on Sunday that they could reach a deal to avert the "fiscal cliff" that would trigger automatic tax hikes and spending cuts next January even as they laid down markers on taxes and spending that may make any agreement more difficult. On the economic front, U.S. home resales rose in October and a gauge of homebuilder sentiment climbed to a six-year high in November, a sign slow improvements in the labor market are helping the housing sector recovery gain traction. "There's a bit more optimism surrounding the fiscal cliff (and) there's been some relief from what looks like a smooth power transition in China. That said, there are still many macro-economic risks," said Barclays analyst Gayle Berry. "Commodities underperformed other asset classes after QEIII (the third round of quantitative easing) because of the growth outlook. Some numbers are beginning to turn in China but its going to be a gradual improvement." China, the world's top copper consumer, announced that its economy was turning the corner and was likely to meet its growth target for the year. Chinese Vice president Xi Jinping, who will assume the role of head of state in March, praised his predecessor Hu Jintao last week for voluntarily giving up power. Copper is trading up 2.7 percent in the year to date, but prices have fallen short of steep gains in silver, which is up around 17 percent higher in the year to date, and gold , which has rallied about 11 percent since January. "We still expect to see most markets push higher heading into year-end. We think investors have yet to fully discount the likelihood of a fiscal cliff deal reached that may actually exceed the rather low set of expectations that are now in place," said Ed Meir, analyst at INTL FCStone. "Equity markets should lead the upward move, with the base metals being pulled up along with it." GREEK AID Investors were reassured by news that officials familiar with preparations for the finance ministers' meeting expect a "political endorsement in principle" on unfreezing loans to Athens, but the money will only be paid on Dec. 5 if the country meets all remaining conditions. Caution about the prolonged debt crisis in Europe persisted, however. "Our trade clients, particularly in Europe, tell us of quiet market conditions and planned early plant closures for Christmas ... not a good sign for base metal demand," Triland Metals said in a note on Friday. In a sign that metals demand is weak, Chile's Codelco , the world's top copper producer, has offered its Japanese copper customers a 2013 term premium of $85 a tonne, down 9 percent from its 2012 premium. Battery material lead ended at $2,191 from $2,150 on Friday, with the premium for cash lead over the three month contract last at $10.75 a tonne, indicating the market remains extremely tight. Soldering metal tin closed at $20,800 from $20,400, having earlier hitting its highest since November 7 at $20,801. Stainless-steel ingredient nickel ended at $16,425 from $15,955 after hitting its highest since November 1 at $16,470. Zinc, used in galvanizing, ended at $1,945.50 from $1,920 while aluminium closed at $1,977 from $1,951. Metal Prices at1709 GMT Comex copper in cents/lb, LME prices in $/T and SHFE prices in yuan/T Metal Last Change Pct Move End 2011 Ytd Pct move COMEX Cu 354.00 8.85 +2.56 344.75 2.68 LME Alum 1977.75 26.75 +1.37 2020.00 -2.09 LME Cu 7804.25 199.25 +2.62 7600.00 2.69 LME Lead 2194.25 44.25 +2.06 2034.00 7.88 LME Nickel 16441.00 486.00 +3.05 18650.00 -11.84 LME Tin 20750.00 350.00 +1.72 19200.00 8.07 LME Zinc 1945.00 25.00 +1.30 1845.00 5.42 SHFE Alu 15390.00 -35.00 -0.23 15845.00 -2.87 SHFE Cu* 56050.00 310.00 +0.56 55360.00 1.25 SHFE Zin 15045.00 5.00 +0.03 14795.00 1.69 ** Benchmark month for COMEX copper * 3rd contract month for SHFE AL, CU and ZN SHFE ZN began trading on 26/3/07
- Protesters fell Lenin statue, tell Ukraine's president 'you're next'
- Four dead in apparent Connecticut murder-suicide
- South Korea expands air defense zone to partially overlap China's |
- Singer Susan Boyle reveals she has Asperger's syndrome: paper
- Winter storm pushes up U.S. East Coast after deep-freeze in the South