* Euro at six-week high against dollar
* China bonded copper premiums up $5 at $195/$210 from prior
By Harpreet Bhal and Silvia Antonioli
LONDON, Dec 10 Copper touched its highest level
in a month on Tuesday, aided by a weaker dollar, with steady
buying from top consumer China also helping to underpin prices.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange
closed at $7,159 a tonne from a last bid of $7,130 after hitting
a session high of $7,188, its highest in a month.
The metal used in power and construction is down about 10
percent for the year to date. It broke below $7,000 a tonne in
mid-November after holding in a $7,000-$7,400 range since
Supporting prices, the euro rose to a six-week high against
the dollar. A weak dollar makes commodities priced in the U.S.
unit cheaper for holders of other currencies.
"The weaker dollar is helping, but the copper market is also
finally pricing in the tension on the physical market due to
both higher physical demand and lower stocks in warehouses,"
T-Commodity consultant Gianclaudio Torlizzi said.
"After all, the latest data from China leaves little doubt
on the state of its economy; the market was too bearish on
The services industry in top metals consumer China grew at a
steady pace in November, a private survey showed earlier this
month, an indication of strength in the world's second-largest
economy as the government embarks on a sweeping restructuring
Investors are also watching the U.S. Federal Reserve, which
is expected to begin trimming its commodity-friendly monthly
asset purchases in March, a Reuters poll showed.
Some economists, though, were warming to the idea it could
do so as early as this month or at the January policy meeting.
"We are expecting demand conditions in the first quarter
next year to be much more positive, not just in China ... but in
the rest of the world as well," said analyst Matt Fusarelli of
Sydney-based AME Group.
Physical demand for copper remained strong, with bonded
copper premiums up $5 at $195/$210 a tonne from month-ago
levels, according to price provider Shmet. ()
In other metals, nickel appears set to trend higher
in 2014 due to tighter supplies, while unfavourable economics
should keep pressure on gold and oil and prompt investors to
avoid much of the commodity complex, Barclays said.
Nickel prices have performed better than other metals for
the past two weeks, gaining around 3 percent, but the stainless
steel ingredient is by far the worst performer this year with
losses of more than 18 percent.
Nickel closed at $22,450 from a close of $23,995, having hit
its highest level in a month earlier in the session at $14,120.
Aluminium ended at $1,803 from $1,793, while zinc
finished at $1,946 from a last bid of $1,918, and lead
at $2,122 from $2,110.
Tin lost 3.4 percent to close at $22,450 from $23,250 as
traders bet the government in Indonesia, the world's top
exporter of refined tin, will find a way around a mineral ore
export ban, which threatens to cut exports from mining companies
in the country.
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