Copper prices have hit one-week highs due to expectations of stronger demand after authorities in top consumer China said they would take measures aimed at bolstering growth and liquidity.
Benchmark copper on the London Metal Exchange ended up 0.3 per cent at $US6,242 a tonne.
It earlier touched $US6,331.50 a tonne, the highest since October 15.
China’s central bank governor said last week it would roll out targeted measures to help ease company financing problems and encourage commercial banks to boost lending to private firms.
‘The news from China is encouraging for metals,’ said Eugen Weinberg, analyst at Commerzbank.
‘Measures that add liquidity will help in the short to medium term, but it won’t solve the problem of indebtedness, a problem for some years now.’
China’s tax cuts next year could exceed the equivalent of one per cent of gross domestic product, a central bank adviser said, in a sign policymakers might be considering another round of tax reductions.
China’s economic growth cooled to its weakest quarterly pace since the global financial crisis, with regulators moving quickly to calm nervous investors as a years-long campaign to tackle debt risks and the trade war with the United States began to bite.
China accounts for about half of global copper demand, estimated this year at around 24 million tonnes.
China is ‘multiplying its efforts to support the economy, and in particular, the infrastructure sector amid domestic and international headwinds,’ such as the trade war with the United States and high debt levels, Fitch Solutions said in a note.
The country’s demand for copper, an economic bellwether, ‘will improve over the coming months as property completions and grid investment pick up and demand from the autos and consumer sectors remain buoyant,’ the research house said.
Strong upside resistance for copper is at the 100-day moving average, currently around $US6,320, and support is at $US6,115, the 55-day moving average.
Traders say significantly higher copper prices in China could encourage further outflows from LME-approved warehouses to those monitored by the Shanghai Futures Exchange.
LME copper stocks at 154,225 tonnes have tumbled 27 per cent since September 24, while those in ShFE warehouses are up about 27 per cent over the same period to 140,789 tonnes.
Global primary aluminium output fell to 5.301 million tonnes in September from a revised 5.485 million tonnes in August, data from the International Aluminium Institute showed on Monday.
Aluminium traded 0.2 per cent higher at $US2,007, zinc gained 1.1 per cent to $US2,656, lead was bid up 0.6 per cent to $US2,005, tin rose 0.3 per cent to $US19,225 and nickel climbed 0.7 per cent to $US12,530 a tonne.