Copper on the London Metal Exchange (LME) has closed higher as investors saw an improved supply-demand outlook for the metal.
At the close of open-outcry trading in the London ring on Thursday, LME three-month copper was up 1.2 per cent from the previous session’s closing price, at $US6,753 a metric ton. The metal on Thursday traded at prices not seen for nearly seven weeks.
Aluminium closed 0.1 per cent higher at $US1,876 a ton, while nickel closed 0.2 per cent lower at $US18,350 a ton.
Earlier in the session, nickel had touched its highest price since February 2013, at $US18,600 a ton. Prices for the metal have surged by more than 30 per cent year-to-date, as tensions surrounding Ukraine and an ongoing ore-export ban in key producer Indonesia have threatened global supply levels.
“Copper prices have leapt higher this afternoon … optimism about the global economy has picked up, boosting hopes of increased consumption,” said IG chief market strategist Brenda Kelly.
The red metal is used to make a range of everyday goods, and as such investors watch key growth and manufacturing metrics for clues about the future of demand.
On Thursday, prices took strength after brighter economic readings from the US, the world’s second-largest copper consumer after China, which stoked hopes for better demand.
Data showed US demand for big-ticket factory goods rose more than expected in March. Durable goods orders rose a seasonally-adjusted 2.6 per cent from February, the biggest jump since November and more than the 2.00 per cent rise economists expected.