* Positive Chinese data revives demand hopes
* Investor appetite improves on Russia's Syria proposal
* Copper stocks, Fed stimulus worries cap gains
By Maytaal Angel
LONDON, Sept 11 Copper was steady on Wednesday
as prospects for improved strength in China's economy and
reduced risk of a U.S. strike on Syria, offset concern about
growing stockpiles of the metal and U.S. plans to taper monetary
Uncertainty about next week's U.S. Federal Reserve meeting
is keeping copper investors cautious, even though last week's
disappointing U.S. jobs data convinced many that any stimulus
withdrawal will probably be gradual.
At the same time recent upbeat economic data in China
increased confidence about demand for industrial metals in the
world's largest commodities buyer.
"We expect demand to pick up, but if we look at all metals,
supply has increased as well," Societe Generale analyst Robin
Bhar said. "There is no concern about supply, so that is a
factor that may cap the market."
London Metal Exchange data shows copper stocks at almost
590,000 tonnes, up more than 20,000 tonnes from 565,500 tonnes
in August. The trend of rising stocks is leading investors to
fret that the copper market surplus is widening.
Benchmark three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
closed at $7,170 a tonne, unchanged from Tuesday's
Copper has risen more than 8 percent since touching
three-year lows in June on mounting evidence that a slowdown in
China may be bottoming out, but is still down 9 percent for the
Appetite for copper, seen as a risky asset, improved
slightly on news that Syria accepted a Russian proposal on
Tuesday to give up chemical weapons.
Headline China trade data this week showed overall imports
and exports in August were stronger than expected, indicating
that the world's top commodity buyer may have avoided a sharp
On Tuesday, data showed China's annual industrial output
rose 10.4 percent in August. China accounts for about 40 percent
of global copper consumption.
Aluminium, untraded at the close, was bid at $1,802
tonne from $1,798 at the close on Tuesday.
Nickel closed at $13,825 a tonne from $13,740 at the
close on Tuesday. Chinese firms operating nickel mines in
Indonesia are likely to step up plans to build nickel-pig-iron
plants in the Southeast Asian country in order to continue
shipping ores back home.
Tin closed at $22,800 a tonne from $22,825, lead
at $2,126 a tonne from $2,137, and zinc at
$1,875.50 a tonne from $1,876.