By Melanie Burton
SINGAPORE, Jan 24 (Reuters) - London copper was steady on
Thursday, supported by expansion in China's factories that
fuelled confidence the country's recovery was gaining speed,
although patchy reports over the U.S. corporate earnings season
kept a lid on prices.
Growth in China's giant factory sector accelerated to a
two-year high in January, a preliminary private survey showed,
as manufacturers received more local and foreign orders in a
reassuring sign for the country's economic
China accounts for around 40 percent of refined copper
'It's encouraging. The price has already stabilised above
$8,000, reflecting an economic recovery and the HSBC data has
confirmed this scenario,' said Helen Lau, a senior analyst at
'We're pretty comfortable seeing the copper price above
$8,000 for the rest of the year, and we expect to see more
upside, given that the supply side remains pretty tight and the
demand side should recover after Lunar New Year,' she added.
Three-month copper on the London Metal Exchange was
steady at $8,092.50 a tonne by 0222 GMT, edging down 0.13
percent from the previous session, when it slipped by a third of
Copper hit its highest since Jan. 11 at $8,154.25 on
Wednesday, but remains hemmed in the wider range of $7,920 to
$8,250 seen this year.
The most-traded May copper contract on the Shanghai Futures
Exchange slipped 0.27 percent to 58,650 yuan ($9,400) a
China's factory sector soothed sentiment hurt after Apple
Inc missed Wall Street's revenue forecast and sent
shares down ten percent.
Otherwise, manufacturing news out of the world's top economy
was supportive. Top U.S. manufacturers sounded a confident note
about their expectations for 2013 on Wednesday as fears of the
year-end 'fiscal cliff' faded into memory.
Also, the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday passed
a plan to allow the federal government to keep borrowing money
'Copper has been above the $8,110-$8,130 area, but it meets
selling every time. Personally I'm still thinking a touch
lower.... but there may be a short-term risk bid to come to test
the resistance once again,' said a Hong Kong-based trader who
added short-covering could be sparked on a break above $8,165.
A string of manufacturing sector reports from Europe due on
Thursday may also help to swing sentiment.
After three years of deficit, copper supply is widely
expected to swing into a small surplus this year, although mine
supply has a history of falling short of expectations, due to
strikes and bad weather in top producer Chile.
The roughly 21 million tonne global copper market is
forecast in a 120,000-tonne surplus this year, according to 17
analysts polled by Reuters.
BHP Billiton the world's biggest mining group,
released its quarterly report on Wednesday showing 5 percent
higher copper output and forecast the world's biggest copper
mine would step up production by a fifth this year.
Base metals prices at 0222 GMT
Metal Last Change Pct Move YTD pct chg
LME Cu 8092.50 -10.50 -0.13 2.06
SHFE CU FUT MAY3 58650 -160 -0.27 1.68
HG COPPER MAR3 368.20 -0.25 -0.07 0.81
LME Alum 2070.00 -7.00 -0.34 -0.05
SHFE AL FUT APR3 15220 -35 -0.23 -0.81
LME Zinc 2070.00 -14.50 -0.70 0.31
SHFE ZN FUT APR3 15485 -60 -0.39 -0.39
LME Nickel 17470.00 -75.00 -0.43 1.84
LME Lead 2361.00 -9.00 -0.38 0.90
SHFE PB FUT 15345.00 -20.00 -0.13 0.62
LME Tin 24571.00 121.00 +0.49 5.00
LME/Shanghai arb^ 392
Shanghai and COMEX contracts show most active months
($1=6.2180 Chinese yuan)
(Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)
((email@example.com)(+65 6870 3017)(Reuters
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