LONDON: Base metals prices rose in London on Thursday, supported by unexpected growth in factory activity in top metals consumer China and a vote of approval from the House of Representatives to suspend the US debt ceiling.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) rose 1.9% to $8,241.5 a tonne by 1603 GMT. The metal used in power and construction fell by 5.9% in May.
ING expects copper prices to remain volatile in the coming days, reacting to any policy change in China, and to average $8,500 a tonne in 2023.
“In the near term, copper prices are likely to continue to be dictated by the pace of China’s economic recovery as well as the (US) Fed’s interest rate hiking path,” said ING analyst Ewa Manthey.
Driven by improved production and demand in China, the Caixin/S&P Global manufacturing purchasing managers’ index (PMI) rose to 50.9 in May, marking a return to growth, compared with a contraction in activity seen in the official PMI on Wednesday.
In the zinc market, LME on-warrant stocks fell to 78,650 tonnes after cancellation of warrants to take delivery of 3,175 tonnes from LME-registered warehouses in Singapore.
LME zinc gained 1.6% to $2,284 a tonne, aluminium rose 1.7% to $2,285, nickel added 3.7% to $21,340 and tin edged up 0.8% to $25,660.
Lead was 0.5% lower at $2,002.5 after touching $1,976 for its lowest in almost seven months.