* Global copper market swings to surplus - ICSG
* Nickel falls more than 2 pct on week as supply mounts
* German business morale rises, Q3 growth moderate
By Susan Thomas
LONDON, Nov 22 Copper hit a one-week high on
Friday, lifted by a weaker dollar against the euro, signs of
economic growth in Germany and a temporary supply shortfall
after a typhoon-hit Philippine smelter halted some shipments.
The metal also got a boost after Atlanta Federal Reserve
President Dennis Lockhart told CNBC on Friday that even after
the U.S. central bank starts winding down its stimulus, monetary
policy is likely to be very accommodative for some time.
Copper is recovering from three-month lows touched on
Tuesday, underpinned by a fall in physical supply in Asia and
expectations China's economic reforms will support an
improvement in global demand next year.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
ended up 1.07 percent at $7,095 a tonne, having earlier hit
$7,098 a tonne, its highest level since November 13.
"I think it is mainly due to a slightly weaker dollar and
positive economic data out of Europe, and especially out of
Germany," Commerzbank analyst Daniel Briesemann said.
German business morale surged to its strongest in a year and
a half in November, suggesting Europe's largest economy is
gaining steam into the end of the year after growing by a modest
0.3 percent in the third quarter.
The Munich-based Ifo think-tank said its business climate
index, based on a monthly survey of 7,000 firms, rose to 109.3,
beating the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll for a rise to
107.7 and surpassing the highest estimate for 108.5.
The rise in the index, which had fallen in October, sent the
euro higher against the dollar. A softer U.S. currency makes it
less expensive for foreign investors to buy dollar-priced
commodities, thus supporting prices.
While copper has recovered from a three-month low touched on
Tuesday at $6,910 a tonne, it is still down more than 10 percent
for the year.
"I think the risk is clearly on the downside, and I don't
know what will lift copper significantly at the moment because
sentiment out there is still negative," Briesemann said. "We are
still lacking convincing data ... and I wouldn't be surprised to
see it back below $7,000."
While U.S. factory output rebounded this month, business
activity across the euro zone and at China's manufacturers
slowed, surveys showed on Thursday.
The global copper market also swung into a surplus in
August, after three straight months of a shortfall, mostly due
to higher production, data from the International Copper Study
In the meantime, a disruption in copper supply helped prop
up the price after a typhoon-hit Philippine smelter delayed
deliveries. Chinese importers face a shortfall of about 30,000
tonnes this month and next, traders said on Thursday.
Copper futures also reflected a shortfall in supply of the
metal, with cash copper swinging to a $4 premium against the
benchmark contract on Thursday from a discount of $14 at the
start of the week, underpinning prices.
China is giving priority to infrastructure development in
smaller cities as part of its reforms, which will help
eventually fuel demand for copper, which is used in power
cables, construction and white goods.
In other metals traded, LME three-month aluminium
ended down 0.06 percent at $1,782 a tonne, while nickel
ended up 0.97 percent at $13,560 a tonne.
The global nickel market surplus ballooned to 127,100 tonnes
in the first nine months of the year, more than double the
surplus in the same period last year, a bulletin from
International Nickel Study Group showed.
In aluminium, top producer Russia's Rusal expects to benefit
from a cost-cutting plan and a more balanced global aluminium
market in the fourth quarter, its co-owner and Chief Executive
Oleg Deripaska said.
LME zinc ended up 1.06 percent at $1,909 a tonne,
lead ended up 0.91 percent at $2,107 a tonne and tin
ended down 0.41 percent at $22,850 a tonne.
Three month LME copper
Most active ShFE copper
Three month LME aluminium
Most active ShFE aluminium
Three month LME zinc
Most active ShFE zinc
Three month LME lead
Most active ShFE lead
Three month LME nickel
Three month LME tin