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METALS -Copper steady on global factory pick-up, dollar weighs
November 5, 2013 / 3:40 PM / in 4 years

METALS -Copper steady on global factory pick-up, dollar weighs

* HSBC China Services PMI edges up in October

* US services sector activity picked up in October

* Dollar up vs euro on ECB rate cut speculation

By Susan Thomas

LONDON, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Copper steadied on Tuesday as an upbeat global manufacturing survey and signs the U.S. Federal Reserve is in no rush to end its commodities-friendly stimulus measures offset a stronger dollar.

Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange ended at up 0.17 percent at $7,161 a tonne from $7,149 at the close on Monday. It remains at the lower end of a $7,000-$7,420 per tonne range that it has held since August.

Global manufacturing increased in October at its fastest pace in more than two years, according to JPMorgan’s Global Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Index. Growth in China’s services industry edged up, a sign that the economy has stabilised.

In the U.S. meanwhile, service-sector business activity picked up in October and firms took on workers, though new order growth slowed for a second straight, an industry report on Tuesday showed.

Still, central bankers in the U.S. have stressed there is no need to hurry the Fed’s scale-back of its asset purchases until the U.S. economy shows clearer signs of improvement.

“In terms of the basic fundamentals, economic data seems to be getting better slowly and therefore every time metals come up a bit, you get some good consumer bargain-hunting. So that will hold the bottom end of the range,” Societe Generale analyst Robin Bhar said.

“China seems to be doing OK, but I think there is a sense that the rebound probably is unsustainable because reform measures are more critical in rebalancing the economy.”

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang sounded a warning on easy credit supply, which he said had topped 100 trillion yuan ($16.4 trillion) in the world’s second-biggest economy and largest consumer of commodities, including copper.

China’s Communist Party plenum to set policy opens later this week.

The country’s consumption of refined copper is expected to grow more quickly in 2014, although not fast enough to boost imports significantly as production increases more speedily, state-backed research firm Antaike said, feeding worries about oversupply.

In the currency markets, the dollar rose against the euro, edging back towards a seven week high set on Monday, helped by speculation that the European Central Bank may signal easier monetary policy or even cut interest rates this week.

A stronger U.S. currency makes it more expensive for foreign investors to buy dollar-priced commodities.

Among other metals, lead ended down 0.14 percent at $2,156 a tonne, having earlier hit a $2,141 a tonne, its lowest since mid-October.

Aluminium was last bid down 0.49 percent at $1,817 a tonne, having earlier hit its lowest since early October at $1,809 a tonne.

Nickel closed down 0.17 percent at $14,345 a tonne, having earlier hit its lowest since October 21 at $14,300 a tonne.

Daily LME data showed nickel stocks rose 1,374 tonnes to total 239,958 - another new record level, though orders to remove nickel from LME warehouses surged to nearly 85,200 tonnes, or 35.5 percent of total inventory.

“We think this reflects a similar attempt to lock up inventory in warehouse queues as has been established in aluminium, zinc and copper, resulting in a tighter market than the headline LME stocks number would suggest,” said VTB Capital analyst Wiktor Bielski.

Zinc was last bid down 0.10 percent at $1,922 a tonne, while tin bucked the slightly weak tone in most base metals, ending up 1.25 percent at $22,995 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

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