Copper Gains as Investors Weigh Growth Momentum and China Return
(Bloomberg) -- Copper led gains in most base metals as investors weighed global growth prospects before key U.S. jobs data and the return of Chinese traders after a holiday.
Investor sentiment across the financial markets was improved by progress on U.S. debt-ceiling talks and Russia’s offer to ease Europe’s energy crunch, with U.S. and European equities rising. Applications for U.S. state unemployment benefits retreated last week to the lowest in a month in a broad-based decline, pointing to ongoing improvement in the labor market.
A U.S. payrolls report Friday is expected to shed more light on the Federal Reserve’s timeline to cut bond purchases.
“Industrial metal prices have broadly remained in an elevated trading range,” reflecting supply risks, TD Securities strategists led by Bart Melek said in a note.
Copper rose 2.6% to settle at $9,280 a ton on the London Metal Exchange at 5:53 p.m. local time. Aluminum added 1.7% and nickel rose 1.1%. The Bloomberg Dollar Spot index was little-changed. Chinese markets will reopen Friday after a week-long holiday.
Higher energy prices and policy-driven smelter production cuts will become key drivers for the aluminum market over the medium term and are already accelerating inventory drawdowns, according to a Wood Mackenzie report. For copper, which has climbed nearly 40% over the past year, a modest supply response will result in a deficit and underpin higher prices, the report said.
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